A New Diabetes Medication Demonstrates The Pharmaceutical Development Cycle

Published November 24th, 2015 by USA Rx
Fact Checked by
Chris Riley

Sotagliflozin is a new drug currently undergoing late-stage clinical trials thanks to a partnership between Sanofi, a major pharmaceutical company with more than 100,000 employees, and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, a small research firm with just over 200 employees.  The experimental drug is designed to regulate blood sugar so that type I and II diabetics can maintain a more stable blood glucose level and use less insulin, but what may be more fascinating than the medication is the relationship between the two companies dedicated to developing it.


The most common defense you hear regarding the booming price of diabetes drugs is that these costs are necessary to cover the research and development cycle not just for the drugs in question but for all the failures that led up to it.  For every success that makes the FDA’s cut, it seems as though there are a dozen more that fail to amount to anything, don’t pass the clinical trials, or are simply deemed too dangerous to use.


However, the big pharmaceutical companies aren’t the ones who absorb the loss of a failed new drug.  The companies who are really on the cutting edge of medicine are small biotech firms like Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, and big companies like Sanofi only buy the right to produce these drugs once they’ve passes their trials and proven their worth.  The small companies have to absorb the loss of a failed drug on their own, and either that means shutting down and popping up again somewhere else with new investors or else appealing for a federal grant to pay for their next drug research cycle.


In other words, then, the big drug companies who own the drugs and set their prices may have to pay a few billion dollars in order to acquire a new medication, but even so they aren’t paying for every last bit of drug R and D.  Plus what they do pay is easily overshadowed within years or even months by the profits they reap through the high price of new pharmaceuticals.  So at best they’re oversimplifying a complex situation, but at worst they’re repeating the best excuse they can come up with even as taxpayers pay the actual bill for research.


If you have to take a new prescription drug, then you know that many are priced so high that only the most premium health care plans will cover them.  So when you’re left to pay for them out-of-pocket, every little bit helps.  Fortunately, the USA Rx discount pharmacy card can help, and by more than just a little bit.  Our card can get you up to a 75 percent discount on prescription medications both new and old, and since we’re accepted in over 60,000 pharmacies in America we’re sure to help cut down your health care expenses regardless of where you live.  If you want to know more, you can send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 888-277-3911.

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