Deconstructing the drug development process: the new face of innovation

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Mar;87(3):356-61. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2009.293. Epub 2010 Feb 3.


Forged in the early 1960s, the paradigm for pharmaceutical innovation has remained virtually unchanged for nearly 50 years. During a period when most other research-based industries have made frequent and often sweeping modifications to their R&D processes, the pharmaceutical sector continues to utilize a drug development process that is slow, inefficient, risky, and expensive. Few who work in or follow the activities of the pharmaceutical industry question whether change is coming. They know that the pharmaceutical sector, as currently structured, is unable to deliver enough new products to market to generate revenues sufficient to sustain its own growth. Nearly all major drug developers are critically examining current R&D practices and, in some cases, considering a radical overhaul of their R&D models. But key questions remain. What will the landscape for pharmaceutical innovation look like in the future? And, who will develop tomorrow’s medicines?

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Approval / methods
  • Drug Discovery / methods
  • Drug Discovery / trends*
  • Drug Industry / methods
  • Drug Industry / trends*
  • Humans
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*
  • Time Factors


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations