What Are the Challenges of Bringing a New Drug to Market?

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I like to say that we, the pharmaceutical industry, and I go to Trade Association meetings, and sit in a lot of UN, WHO meetings, and there's whole ideas of priority medicines, and what are the ones that we need, and the ones for neglected tropical diseases, we have soil transmitted helminths and worms, and other things that do a lot of damage for kids, but we can even get simple medicines to all those people.

So, we mean new antibiotics, but bringing new antibiotics to market is so expensive that very few companies have done that. So when these are happening, these companies makes decisions based upon market, for the most part with the exception of some countries, most of the pharmaceutical research are multi-national pharmaceutical companies based in the developed world. So, they look at where are places, where we might be able to one be successful to bring something in market, and to have a population that can use it.

It would be great to say that, I mean, I think mental health is a very important area, and Johnson & Johnson has a long history in mental health with Paul Janssen who basically founded mainly the, a typical anti-psychotics, anti-epileptics, and pain medicines, and so forth. So Johnson & Johnson has a legacy there and will continue to work in that area.

But that doesn't mean that other areas aren't important, and where the diabetes drug, what we call the endocrinic metabolic area is new to Johnson & Johnson, and it's been a big strategic move to have to invest in that, because it's not just bringing the drug to the FDA, and getting it approved, an then getting the docs as you know the system also works where you need sales force and other people, so it's a lot more complex than it might seem and just in the laboratory.