EDITORIAL

Rethinking Clinical Trials

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Science  23 Sep 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6050, pp. 1679
DOI: 10.1126/science.1212118

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Summary

The biomedical industry spends over $50 billion per year on research and development and produces some 20 new drugs. One reason for this disappointing output is the byzantine U.S. clinical trial system that requires large numbers of patients. Half of all trials are delayed, 80 to 90% of them because of a shortage of trial participants. Patient limitations also cause large and unpredicted expenses to pharmaceutical and biotech companies as they are forced to tread water. As the industry moves toward biologics and personalized medicine, this limitation will become even greater. A breakthrough in regulation is needed to create a system that does more with fewer patients.

  • M. Boldrin, S. J. Swamidass, “A New Bargain for Drug Approvals,” Wall Street Journal, 25 July 2011.

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