5 ideas for streamlining the way we test pharmaceuticals

TED Blog

The process for testing new drugs is clunky at best. As Susan Solomon reveals in her TED Talk, drug discovery on average takes 13 years, costs $4 billion, and has a 99% failure rate. Drugs are tested in the lab, then in animals, then in human trials that often aren’t big enough to be conclusive. (Human beings have a near infinite number of differences — a truly amazing thing, until different bodies start reacting in unpredictable ways to the same treatment.) As Roger Stein shares in his TED Talk, because of the incredible challenges inherent in this system, about 20 years of life-saving drugs sit in labs, untested.

Many TED speakers have shared intriguing ideas for streamlining, improving and rethinking the way we test pharmaceuticals. Below, watch seven talks with bold ideas that could potentially get medicines to people faster, and in forms that work better for their…

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