It can take years for a new pharmaceutical drug to hit the market. This is because it must go through a lot of different phases before it becomes widely available to the public. While regulations can make the process slow and tedious for many drug developers, this process is put in place to make sure that medicines are safe for consumers when correctly prescribed. This is how pharmaceutical drugs are developed from concept to the finished product.

From Concept To Finished Product: How Pharmaceutical Drugs Are Developed For You


Before a drug is developed, it must first be discovered. This can happen in a number of different ways. It can be as simple as someone like a researcher or drug manufacturer having an idea about a combination of ingredients that could make up a pharmaceutical drug. New drugs also tend to be discovered by accident when creating a drug for a different purpose. Of course, you don’t have to create a new element to make a new drug. Isolates of various compounds found within nature are often the source of major breakthroughs in medical science. A flower from the Amazon rainforest, a new fruit found in India, or even oils from different types of fish can be utilized to create potent medicines to be taken orally, topically, or intravenously. 


Once a potential new pharmaceutical drug is discovered, it needs to be developed. Developers often spend months or years trying out different formulations in order to develop a drug. This involves a lot of trial and error on their part. They take into account things like the drug’s function, interaction with other drugs and potential side effects that can occur. Once they have something that they believe will work effectively and safely, they patent the drug, both by ingredients and creation process, then send it on to the trials.

Research Trials

Pharmaceutical drugs will need to go through research trials before they are available to the general public. These trials often occur on lab animals first. Developers will then use the data they obtain for research trials on humans. A clinical research organization will seek out individuals that will be a good candidate to try out a new pharmaceutical drug for a predetermined amount of time. The information the candidates provide while taking these drugs is crucial to the future of the drug. It will be used to determine whether or not the drug is ready to be placed on the market in the near future. It can often take ten years or more for a drug to be approved, depending on the urgency of its need and the type of condition it is meant to treat. This helps keep an eye out for long term side effects as well as fine-tuning the most effective and safe formula.


If the results of the drug is positive during the research trial, then a drug will become available to the public. If there were some issues, then the pharmaceutical drug may need to go through the development stage again. It often takes a lot of time and to get these types of drugs formulated just right before they are considered safe and are available for sale. It’s not uncommon for pharmaceutical drugs to need to be reformulated more than once.

There’s a lot that goes into developing pharmaceutical drugs. All of the stages of development mentioned above are necessary before these drugs are placed on store shelves. Years of development, testing and research has to happen before a product becomes available for sale. This means that by the time it reaches your prescription, regulations will have made them to be safe, effective, and tailored to the use they are prescribed for.