Ted Grasela is the president and CEO of Cognigen Corporation and adjunct professor of pharmaceutics at the University at Buffalo.
Innovation is the introduction of new or improved products or services in the marketplace. The word speaks to the best of our creative spirit and suggests an optimism about the future when the shortcomings of the past are overcome. In many ways, the pharmaceutical industry is awash in innovation. Each year brings new tools and techniques that offer new potential for advancement in science and technology. It sometimes seems that if we just wait long enough, innovation will eventually solve our most intractable problems and bring important new medicines to the marketplace. A quick review of the current state of pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) certainly suggests we could use such a boost. The cost of drug development continues to escalate, reflecting both the rising costs of R&D efforts and the lost investments of failed late-stage development programs. All of this has led to rising costs of new medicines, a loss of jobs in the R&D sector, and a questioning of the value of investing in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Continue reading