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!