HEALTH: Cost of clinical trials worries donors

Irinnews.org: 5/24/2012.

LONDON, 24 May 2012 (IRIN) – The more medical successes there are, the more it costs to find the next one, prompting donors to demand more from researchers carrying out large-scale trials of drugs, vaccines and global health impacts.

“As a funder, I hate clinical trial applications,” said Jimmy Whitworth, head of international activities at the science funding division of UK-based Wellcome Trust, which finances health research.

Clinical trial costs have spiralled in recent years – one recent report estimated a 70 percent cost rise per patient between 2008 and 2011 – but without sound evidence of beneficial medicinal effect, regulatory agencies will not approve.

A clinical drug trial can take up to 12 years, enrol thousands of participants across continents, and cost from as much as US$1.3 billion to nearly $12 billion for each new drug before it is approved for public use.  Read more