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p. 1005. Making new medicineslocked

  • Les Iversen


‘Making new medicines’ outlines the process of developing and marketing new drugs. Advanced techniques provide scientists with many potential receptor targets. Compounds which may affect the target are tested in vitro. If they appear to work further tests are carried out, increasing in complexity from cells to whole organisms. Animal trials help forecast toxicity and determine dosages. Finally, three-phase clinical trials occur in humans. Pharmaceutical companies then submit their data to the government for approval, before the drug can be sold. The lengthy and expensive process often results in high drug prices. A relatively new class of medicines—monoclonal antibodies—is having a major impact in treating hitherto untreatable conditions.

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