Achieving sustainable innovation with value-added medicines

The COVID-19 pandemic spotlighted drug repurposing as a key strategy to support traditional novel chemical entity development; yet repurposing is just one example of how off-patent molecules can be further developed to provide patients with more treatment options. Here, Arun Narayan, Chairman of the Value Added Medicines Sector Group at Medicines for Europe, discusses the value-added medicines market, its strengths and weaknesses, and how companies can capitalise on the time and financial investment in existing drugs.

Various tablets and capsules of different colours, shapes and sizes dropping from above onto a flat surface on a blue background

BRINGING CHEMICAL or biological drugs to market is well established as a costly and time-consuming endeavour. How costly? DiMasi et al. reported that in 2014 the estimated average pre-approval cost for researching and developing a new drug was $2,558 million (in 2013 dollars); one can only assume that this figure has since risen further, especially given the increasingly widespread adoption of more complex biological products in recent years.