The time to develop and receive FDA approval for adrug has decreased in the past 10 years, according to astudy reported in Health Affairs (March 7, 2006). Thestudy evaluated timelines for 168 drugs approved in theUnited States between 1992 and 2002. The findings indicatedthat drugs starting development in 1985 took onaverage >10 years to reach the marketplace, comparedwith <4 years on average for drugs that began theprocess in 1995 or later.
Study author Salomeh Keyhani, MD, said, "One of thefactors that has influenced development costs is time"in testing drugs. She added, "There's not much publicdata on the drug industry, but we found that drugdevelopmenttimes are decreasing."
She noted that the study's findings illustrated thatthe time frame and resources for drug developmentvary widely, and the best-selling drugs do not take anylonger to develop, compared with drugs with lowersales. A lack of public information hampers research onthe factors behind drug development and pricing.