Drugs of Natural Origin: Economic and Policy Aspects of Discovery, Development, and Marketing

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The next stage is to confirm that these molecules have an effect and that they are safe. Before any molecules are given to humans, safety and efficacy tests are conducted using computerised models, cells and animals. Around half of candidates make it through this pre-clinical testing stage and these five to 10 remaining compounds are now ready to be tested in humans for the first time.

The company will put in a clinical trial application CTA , which will be reviewed by medical and scientific experts, who will decide whether or not sufficient preliminary research has been conducted to allow testing in humans to go ahead. The approval of two molecules, morphine and aspirin, pre-dated the creation of the FDA and its precursors.

Number of different companies that have gained approval for at least one new molecular entity NME. As organisations merge or are acquired, the numbers may decrease. If a CTA application is granted, the safety and pharmacology of a candidate drug will be tested first in a small group of healthy volunteers in a phase 1 trial. Small doses of the compound will be administered to a group of 20 to healthy volunteers who are closely supervised. At least half of compounds will usually be considered safe enough to progress to phase 2 trials.

Phase 2 studies examine the efficacy of a compound in volunteer patients who have the condition the drug is intended to treat. To avoid unnecessarily exposing a volunteer to a potentially harmful substance, these studies use the fewest number of patients possible to provide sufficient statistical power to determine efficacy, usually — patients, who are monitored and assessed continuously.

The aim of phase 2 studies is to determine the most effective dose and method of delivery for example, oral or intravenous , the appropriate dosing interval, and to reconfirm product safety. Most drugs that fail during clinical trials do so at Phase 2 because they turn out to be ineffective, have safety problems or intolerable side effects. Those candidates that make it through phase 2 will then be tested in a much larger population of patients in phase 3 trials, often 1, to 5, across multiple international sites.

The aim of these phase 3 trials is to reconfirm the phase 2 findings in a larger population and to identify the best dosage regimen. In doing this the drug company needs to generate sufficient safety and efficacy data to demonstrate an overall risk-benefit for the medicine to allow a submission to be made for a licensing application to the regulatory authority. The process of drug development and marketing authorisation is similar across the world.

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For those drugs that make it to through phase 3, a submission for marketing authorisations is made to the national regulatory authority in most countries. However, in Europe, drug companies usually now opt to make a central application to the European Medicines Agency EMA in order to obtain marketing authorisation for the whole of Europe to avoid having to make multiple applications to individual countries.


The submission contains preclinical and clinical information obtained during testing, including information about the chemical makeup and manufacturing process, pharmacology and toxicity of the compound, human pharmacokinetics, results of the clinical trials, and proposed labelling. If a licence is granted, that is not the end of the process. NICE makes its decisions based on the cost and efficacy of a treatment to determine whether the cost-benefit it offers to the NHS is affordable.

Clinical trials may also continue. Regulatory authorities may insist on phase 4 trials for post-marketing safety surveillance pharmacovigilance or they may be undertaken by the company to enable them to target distinct markets. For example, to enable the drug to be used in patients with complex medical problems or pregnant women who are unlikely to have been involved in earlier trials, and to ensure that they do not interact with other drugs.

  1. A Tale of Two Dragons (Dragon Kin, Book 2).
  2. Introduction.
  3. Overview of biomarkers in disease, drug discovery and development.
  4. Creative Writer PRO - Damn good writing.?
  5. Orphan drug.
  6. Pharmacology!
  7. 1st Edition.
  8. Pharmaceutical companies will patent any molecule that shows promise early in the development process. Patenting prevents other companies copying it for 20 years and covers many aspects of the intellectual property of a drug, including its manufacture, formulation and, in some cases, its use. The purpose of a patent is to enable the pharmaceutical company that developed it to recoup their development costs and to make a profit to cover the development costs of drugs that failed during the testing process, as well as to invest in the development of future innovative drugs.

    By the time a drug has undergone the required testing and been licensed, half the patent period will usually have expired. Once a patent on a drug has expired generic versions of the drug can be manufactured and marketed. For some drugs the period of patent protection can be extended for up to a further five-and-a-half years, so long as this does not take the time in which the drug is under patent protection beyond 15 years after the date it received regulatory approval.

    Display : 25 50 Previous record Next record. Actions Tools Choose a colour. A detailed account is given of the value of wild biological resources plant and animal for pharmaceutical research and development. Several decision models and analytical techniques are presented for assessing the economics of biochemical prospecting efforts and for incorporating the potential Drugs of natural origin. Several decision models models Subject Category: Techniques, Methodologies and Equipment see more details and analytical techniques are presented for assessing the economics economics Subject Category: Disciplines, Occupations and Industries see more details of biochemical prospecting efforts and for incorporating the potential benefits of biochemical prospecting into the host country's land-use plans.

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    Other topics covered include: strategies for developing, marketing marketing Subject Category: Disciplines, Occupations and Industries see more details and distributing the benefits of the host country's biochemical resources; contractual arrangements for allocating risks and rewards; and international policy policy Subject Category: Miscellaneous see more details implications of an active biochemical prospecting market. Back to top. Edit annotation. Cancel Edit annotation. Add annotation. Cancel Add annotation.

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    Cancel Export. Remove search. Are you sure you want to remove this search from Saved Searches? Cancel Remove search. Add to project. The Orphan Drug report stated that the percentage of orphan drug sales as part of all prescription drug sales had been increasing at rapid rate. Orphan drugs generally follow the same regulatory development path as any other pharmaceutical product, in which testing focuses on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics , dosing , stability, safety and efficacy.

    However, some statistical burdens are lessened to maintain development momentum.

    For example, orphan drug regulations generally acknowledge the fact that it may not be possible to test 1, patients in a phase III clinical trial if fewer than that number are afflicted with the disease. A study of "34 key Canadian stakeholders, including drug regulators, funders, scientists, policy experts, pharmaceutical industry representatives, and patient advocates" investigated factors behind the pharmaceutical industry growing interest in "niche markets" such as orphan drugs. The Orphan Drug Act ODA of January , passed in the United States , with lobbying from the National Organization for Rare Disorders and many other organizations, [10] is meant to encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for diseases that have a small market.

    In , the Rare Diseases Act was signed into law. It also increased funding for the development of treatments for people with rare diseases. The EU's definition of an orphan condition is broader than that of the USA, in that it also covers some tropical diseases that are primarily found in developing nations. In late the FDA and EMA agreed to use a common application process for both agencies to make it easier for manufacturers to apply for orphan drug status but, while continuing two separate approval processes.

    Legislation has been implemented by Japan, Singapore, and Australia that offers subsidies and other incentives to encourage the development of drugs that treat orphan diseases. Under the ODA and EU legislation, many orphan drugs have been developed, including drugs to treat glioma , multiple myeloma , cystic fibrosis , phenylketonuria , snake venom poisoning, and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. The Pharmaceutical Executive opines, that the "ODA is nearly universally acknowledged to be a success".

    From until May , the FDA approved orphan drugs and granted orphan designations to 2, compounds. As of , of the roughly 7, officially designated orphan diseases have become treatable. Critics have questioned whether orphan drug legislation was the real cause of this increase, claiming that many of the new drugs were for disorders which were already being researched anyway, and would have had drugs developed regardless of the legislation, and whether the ODA has truly stimulated the production of non-profitable drugs; the act also has been criticised for allowing some pharmaceutical companies to make a large profit of drugs which have a small market but sell for a high price.

    While the European Medicines Agency grants orphan drugs market access to all member states, in practice, they only reach the market when a member state decides that its national health system will reimburse for the drug. For example, in , 44 orphan drugs reached the market in the Netherlands, 35 in Belgium, and 28 in Sweden, while in , 35 such drugs reached the market in France and 23 in Italy. Though not technically an orphan disease, the research and development into the treatment for AIDS has been heavily linked to the Orphan Drug Act.

    In the beginning of the AIDS epidemic the lack of treatment for the disease was often accredited to a believed lack of commercial base for a medication linked to HIV infection. These are in addition to the 70 designated orphan drugs designed to treat other HIV related illnesses. In the s, people with cystic fibrosis rarely lived beyond their early teens.

    Drugs like Pulmozyme and tobramycin , both developed with aid from the ODA, revolutionized treatment for cystic fibrosis patients by significantly improving their quality of life and extending their life expectancies. Now, cystic fibrosis patients often survive into their thirties and some into their fifties. The Nobel Prize for medicine went to two researchers for their work related to familial hypercholesterolemia , which causes large and rapid increases in cholesterol levels.

    Their research led to the development of statin drugs which are now commonly used to treat high cholesterol. Penicillamine was developed to treat Wilson's disease , a rare hereditary disease that can lead to a fatal accumulation of copper in the body. This drug was later found to be effective in treating arthritis. The Center for Orphan Drug Research at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy helps small companies with insufficient in-house expertise and resources in drug synthesis, formulation, pharmacometrics, and bio-analysis.


    Drugs of Natural Origin: Economic and Policy Aspects of Discovery, Development, and Marketing

    Numerous advocacy groups such as the National Organization for Rare Disorders , Global Genes Project , Children's Rare Disease Network, Abetalipoproteinemia Collaboration Foundation, Zellweger Baby Support Network, and the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance have been founded in order to advocate on behalf of patients suffering from rare diseases with a particular emphasis on diseases that afflict children. According to a report published by EvaluatePharma, the economics of orphan drugs mirrors the economics of the pharmaceutical market as a whole but has a few very large differences.

    Governments have implemented steps to reduce high research and development cost with subsidies and other forms of financial assistance. These smaller clinical trials also allow orphan drugs to move to market faster as the average time to receive FDA approval for an orphan drug is 10 months compared to 13 months for non-orphan drugs.