Thursday, December 20, 2007

The world of clinical trials--

I've been working full-time this past week on a huge project. In my 'other' world, I design pharmaceutical packaging and labeling for clinical trials. I am knee deep in a very large packaging for a new drug for children with cancer. When I learned that the study was for kids with cancer, I felt like I wanted to give my very, very best. I lost a nephew to cancer when he was just four years old. Today, science has rendered the particular type of leukemia he had very curable- through clinical trials just like the one on which I am currently working.

It's not that I don't give my best the rest of the time- I always do- it's just that I keep thinking about the actual children this time. Suddenly the clinical trial became very 'real' to me. I've been designing packaging for clinical trials for over 15 years, and this is the first study I connected with in a very concrete way.

I know that pharmaceutical companies usually get a bad rap and people think of them as evil, but I am of the opinion that is it because of the pharmaceutical companies that we are making huge advancements in the treatment of HIV/Aids, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cancer, just to name a few.

The average time it takes for one drug to make it from pre-human testing to market is 12 years. For every one drug that makes it to market, there are 5,000 (yes, 5,000) that failed. The cost for one drug to get to market? A staggering 800 million dollars. (I made the above chart many years ago- the cost then was 'only' 500 million- it's gone up.)

So, lets hear it for those greedy-only-in-it-for-the-money pharmaceutical companies!


Karen Mowrey said...

This is awesome! More people need to be made aware of this, I may have to print this and hand it to every patient who opens their mouth about drug companies. It is one of the things I least want to hear about in my 12 hour day of dispensing cures but I can not blame the patients they are informed by the media!

"Your friendly Pharmacist", Karen

Sherry said...

Elizabeth, life sometimes comes in strange circles..or rather twisted paths that bring us together.

I talked about Hercpetin on my blog (I'm a 3 year and counting breast cancer survivor who is her2+ and took herceptin for a year) and Karen read that and left me the link to this post.

I think I originally found you through a comment you left on Karen's blog. I saw your etsy and saw the doll head (who is now my avatar!) and then I saw what you did with one of the heads and left you a comment at etsy about it.

And now here I am leaving a comment on your blog...what or who has brought us full circle?!? I know it's really God's hand at work through all three of us. ♥