WASHINGTON -- The total cost of bringing a drug fromdiscovery to the marketplace is more than $230 million,according to Ronald Hansen, associate dean for academic affairsat the University of Rochester's Graduate School of BusinessAdministration.

The figure comes from a 1987 survey of 10 pharmaceuticalcompanies. The full study is due to be published in The Journalof Health Economics in June.

In his calculations, Hansen included costs for "dry hole" drugsthat never reach the market; costs for the initial discovery of adrug (accounting for up to 50 percent of the total); R&D taxcredits; and the "implicit interest costs" on money spent toconduct research.

Hansen spoke Wednesday at an Institute of Medicine-sponsored conference on AIDS-related infections.

Expanded access to certain investigational new AIDS drugs,such as Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's dideoxyinosine (DDI), mayprovide an additional financial incentive to drug companies byfamiliarizing physicians with a product before it reaches themarket, said David Barr, assistant director of policy at the GayMen's Health Crisis in New York.

Expanded access is intended for people who have exhausted allapproved therapies, such as people with AIDS who areintolerant to AZT and are not eligible for clinical trials.

-- Rachel Nowak Washington Bureau Chief

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.