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Research Universities Join Effort to Reduce Costs of Drug Development, Manufacturing

Armen Hareyan's picture

Cost of Drug Development

Officials met on Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C., to announce an 11-university research partnership with the Food and Drug Administration aimed at reducing the skyrocketing cost of drug development and manufacturing.

The collaboration, called the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology and Education, or NIPTE, will focus on learning more about the precise science involved in making pharmaceuticals and exploring ways to reduce costs. The institute will be announced during an 8 a.m. (EST) breakfast briefing in Room B-354 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Talks will be presented by Charles Rutledge, vice president for research at Purdue University and one of the institute's founders; Marilyn Speedie, dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota; and Jordan Cohen, dean and professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Iowa.

"Pharmaceutical development and manufacturing processes have become so complex that it is increasingly more difficult to provide safe and effective drugs at a significantly lower cost to patients," said Rutledge, a professor of pharmacology and former dean of pharmacy. "Fundamental research must be conducted to change how pharmaceutical products are developed and manufactured.

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"This type of research is best conducted by scientists at our leading academic institutions who are making innovative advances in pharmaceutical manufacturing."

The institute is a research partnership between the universities and the FDA, which signed a memorandum of agreement establishing the collaboration with academia and industry "to further pharmaceutical development and manufacturing innovations."

Researchers in the collaboration will strive to improve the science of drug development.

"The idea is to better understand the basic physics and chemistry to design better drug-development processes, instrumentation to monitor the processes and create better quality control schemes