Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Many Americans from all walks of life complain about drug prices in the US. But recently I saw a story that really broke my heart. While surfing of Quora, a popular internet question answer site, I saw a story written by a young man who had recently lost his mother. In his post he detailed how his mother was diagnosed with Leukemia and how very little chance of recovery.
His family was given the choice to try a new experimental drug that could have possibly made a difference in her quality of life. However, the drug itself was going to cost $50,000 per month! This family was going to have to either pay for the treatment out of pocket, or find a combination of charities and benefactors to pay for this treatment.
Dismayed and heartbroken, the young man’s family demanded to know this drug was so expensive. The short answer was that because this was an experimental treatment, there were no other competitors in the market place for it.
Unfortunately this situation happens all too often. A new drug promises to provide a solution to a medical condition, only for that drug to be locked in trials for years at a time. So why is that? Why would a country with such an advanced medical system have such difficulty in bringing new drugs into the marketplace?
In this 3 part series, we will be exploring just that. We will be walking through the drug manufacturing process. We will start with the basics of drug research, what kinds of institutions profit off this research, how a drug goes from the research stage to the clinical trial stage, and lastly how long after clinical trials before a drug can hit the shelves.
We will also be taking a look at the current healthcare system in the United States, and how this impacts the drug market in general. We aim to keep this 3 part series as transparent and politically neutral as possible. The goal of this series is to help educate readers on how and why it takes so long to get new drugs on the market. We know that each American will have a different opinion on solutions to our drug prices issue here. So we would love see your feedback in the comment sections below. We’d love to hear your stories and perspectives on this complicated issue.