Pills on a US dollar bill

“Megafinanziamenti” per la Ricerca sui Farmaci

SEATTLE – Sebbene faccia notizia la pratica di prezzi speculativi da parte di alcune aziende farmaceutiche, un aspetto inquietante della vicenda rimane sottovalutata. Gli aumenti esorbitanti dei prezzi dei farmaci esistenti, compresi quelli generici, non sono motivati solo dalla mera speculazione, ma da un profondo scetticismo sulla fattibilità economica di sviluppo di nuovi farmaci. Tale scetticismo è giustificato.

I modelli tradizionali per il finanziamento dello sviluppo di farmaci sono incerti. Negli Stati Uniti e in molti altri paesi sviluppati, il costo medio per portare un nuovo farmaco sul mercato è salito alle stelle, anche se sono scaduti i brevetti su alcuni dei farmaci più redditizi del settore. Il capitale di rischio si è ritirato dalle aziende bio-scientifiche di nuova costituzione, e per ogni dollaro speso in ricerca e sviluppo le grandi aziende farmaceutiche hanno visto un minor numero di farmaci raggiungere il mercato.

Infatti, in media, solo uno ogni 10.000 composti identificati come potenzialmente utili nella fase iniziale della ricerca alla fine riceverà l’approvazione da parte dei regolatori. Il processo di approvazione può richiedere fino a 15 anni ed eccede per eccesso di cautela. Anche per i farmaci che vengono sottoposti a test clinici sull’uomo, solo uno su cinque supererà tale ultimo ostacolo.

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