It takes about 10 years
and costs around £350 million pounds to develop a new drug...
Many drugs fail at some stage in their testing phase
The patent on a new drug only lasts 10 years - during this time development
costs must be recouped and profit earned for new drug developments
Prozac launched in 1987, and Seroxat available from 1998, earn their
manufacturers about one billion pounds per year.
It costs the NHS £20 to treat a patient for one month with Prozac
or Seroxat World-wide, 37 million patients have received Prozac since
its launch in 1987
Once out of patent, generic forms of the drug can be sold at a fraction
of the cost of the original because the manufacturer does not have
to bear the development and testing costs
It costs the NHS £1 to treat a patient for one month with a generic
The global market for antidepressants was worth $10 billion in 1998
and it is estimated that it will grow 20% each year to 2006. The Japanese
consume very few antidepressants.
Reboxetine, the first selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor is being
tipped as the next big money spinner
It is conceivable that in the future antidepressants will be available
'over-the-counter' i.e. without prescription.
(Source: Kohn, 2000)