Only 10% of Americans Understand the Drug Development Timeline, Survey Finds

According to Charles River Laboratories, when asked how long it takes for a drug to be developed and approved for market in the United States, only 10% of 1,500 Americans polled correctly estimated that it takes between 10 and 15 years.

When asked how long it takes for a drug to be developed and approved for market in the United States, only 10% of 1,500 Americans polled correctly estimated that it takes between 10 and 15 years, according to Charles River Laboratories’ first annual Healthcare Collaboration Report. The survey took place in May of 2021 and identified the perceptions of healthcare’s strengths and weaknesses, general knowledge of drug and vaccine development, as well as respondents’ key future priorities of American citizens.

In addition, Americans were asked what percent of drug candidates are approved and make it to the market in the US. The average percentage reported was 36.4%, whereas the actual percentage is closer to 0.02%.

Below are additional insights from the survey:

  • 34% of Americans believe the cost of healthcare is the biggest problem facing the bio/pharma industry
  • 18% of Americans believe the high cost of prescription drugs is the biggest problem facing the bio/pharma industry
  • 90% of Americans believe collaboration has the potential to transform the industry
  • 84% of Americans agree greater collaboration would help new drug development move more quickly
  • 50% of Americans think they are knowledgeable about the drug development process

According to the press release, adults across all political parties said they would support an increase in taxes if it led to 1) lowering of prescription drug prices (75%), 2) accelerating the development of new treatments for common diseases (72%), 3) accelerating development of new treatments for rare diseases (69%), and 4) increased funding for vaccine development for future pandemics (67%).

This was the first annual Healthcare Collaboration Report, conducted by Charles River, and will be conducted annually to provide benchmark data on the public’s perception of the industry and areas for improvement.

Source: Charles River (report), Charles River (press release)