Falling drug breakthroughs ‘a myth’
Fears the variety of new medicines available to patients within the UK is declining had been rejected.
Researchers found the selection of drugs introduced over the past 30 years had actually increased slightly, the BMJ Open journal reported.
This comes despite persistent suggestions they’ve dwindled, the Birmingham University team said.
Researchers came to the realization after analysing data within the British National Formulary guide on drugs.
They checked out what percentage new medicines were added between 1971 and 2011.
The average collection of drugs introduced per year was just below 23, varying from nine inside the lowest year to 34 within the highest.
The researchers said there have been steep peaks and troughs over this era, including a dip between 1998 and 2006. Since then the numbers have risen again.
It has meant lately there were 0.16 more drugs being produced per annum than there have been inside the 1970s.
Previous research projects that have found declines within the variety of new medicines fascinated about smaller periods of time, the study said.
But it still said the rising costs of drug development and the rise in time in takes from to bring a brand new drug to the market remains an ongoing problem for the pharmaceutical industry.
Report author Dr Derek Ward said: “We started this research because there has been a substantial amount of pessimism in the industry and among pharmaceutical companies in regards to the variety of new drugs that were attending to the market.
“We found that watching the info over the future there has been a slight increase. It truly is obviously a fine thing for patients, if more new medicines are getting available.”
Dr Phil L’Huillier, from Cancer Research Technology, a part of Cancer Research UK, said: “Here is encouraging news. Although the price of developing drugs is accelerating, meaning that the variety of drugs per pound invested in research and development is decreasing, there’s a wealth of innovation in UK drug discovery.
“The landscape is shifting with pharmaceutical companies increasingly collaborating with academia for discovery and development of medication. This more collaborative model is being applied to the high-risk innovative early stages of drug discovery, with companies taking over the highly expensive later stage development.
“Cancer Research Technology has recently launched a £50M fund to stimulate investment in drugs discovery inside the UK to support innovative early-stage drugs discovery and development and bridge the distance between work achieved within the lab right as much as early phase clinical trials to prove drugs can benefit for patients.”
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry chief executive Stephen Whitehead said: “It’s a common myth that our industry has struggled to develop new medicines, when actually the research pipelines of businesses are healthy.”