The mortality and morbidity associated with stroke makes the development of new drugs a research priority. Recent unsuccessful clinical trials have reduced enthusiasm for the development of neuroprotective drugs. Here, we use empirical evidence derived from systematic reviews of stroke drug development to identify stages of drug development which might be improved. We then propose exemplar strategies which may be helpful, along with some basic economic modelling of what the impact of such strategies might be. This suggests that relatively straightforward measures might reduce the costs of drug development by $5·8 bn or 31%.
© 2012 The Authors. International Journal of Stroke © 2012 World Stroke Organization.