How a new drug is developed

The text in this section has been adapted, with permission, from the MS Trust:

The development of new drugs is a long, challenging and expensive process. Only one or two compounds in 10,000 tested actually become licensed treatments. A potential new medicine may be rejected at any point in the development process on safety, effectiveness or quality grounds. It takes approximately 10-15 years for a new compound to get from the test tube to the clinic, and according to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical industry, it costs, on average, £1.15 billion. These figures don’t include the research effort that goes on before a new ‘candidate’ compound is found.

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