Biotech research bill rings up at $1.2B average

Biotech drugs take longer and cost more than the traditional medicines fielded by the FDA, according to a new survey from Tufts University's Center for the Study of Drug Development. On average, a complex biologic costs $1.2 billion to approval over a period of 97.7 months. That's 7.4 months longer and much higher than the $899 million average cost the center figured for traditional meds in 2005. The numbers are likely to be heavily featured in the debate over the retail cost of biologics. Many new biotech drugs are coming onto the market with six-figure price tags. The developers want everyone to know that there is a substantial investment that has to be covered when marketing a new biotech. One stat in biotech's favor: approval ratings. The FDA approved 30.2 percent of biotech applications compared to 21.5 percent coming out of the traditional pipeline.

- read the report on the costs from the San Diego Union-Tribune

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