Forty F16 jet fighters, or $802 million. That's how much it takes to develop a new drug, according to the first academic analysis of the process published in 12 years. That number reaches $897 million if postmarketing studies--additional clinical research that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sometimes requires as a condition for approving a new drug--are taken into account, the report's authors announced in May.
These sky-high prices (in 2000 dollars) have prompted disbelief and consternation among some critics, who allege that the pharmaceutical industry is inflating the true cost of drug development to justify the escalating price tags of many therapies. The naysayers also accuse big pharma of seeking to justify its tax credits for research and development and to dissuade Congress from rolling back those benefits.
This article was originally published with the title The Price of Pills.