Triumphs&trials Pharmaceutical Industry

SCN3601: Triumphs and Trials of the Pharmaceutical Industry

4 advanced liberal arts credits

In 2022, the US pharmaceutical market was valued at over $1.2 trillion, forecasted to reach more than $2 trillion dollars by the year 2025. Bringing a new drug or therapeutic agent to the market is a complex process that can take upwards of a decade with a hefty price tag upwards of $2 billion dollars. The United States pharma industry spends about $60 billion yearly on drug research and development, generating approximately half of the $1.2 trillion market. As a result of this significant investment, the pharma industry has made great strides in the treatment of many diseases and developed therapies that have changed the world, including the development of antibiotics to treat infection and drugs like insulin, which have saved hundreds of thousands of lives Research, technological advances and development have led to new and innovative approaches to treat cancer, has reduced HIV infection from a 100% mortality rate to a chronic illness in the US and led to the development of a vaccine against COVID19 in record time. Despite making many significant scientific strides, public opinion of the industry is lower than ever before. It has been plagued with controversy after controversy about questionable practices including intellectual property arguments, skyrocketing costs, exorbitant executive payouts and inequitable vaccine access across the world. Additionally, a seemingly arbitrary drug pricing system and the indisputable role the pharma industry played in the opioid crisis, have fed into the significant public relations problem the industry currently faces. This course will focus on real world considerations that drive both the good and the bad of the pharmaceutical industry. We will discuss the triumphs and challenges that occur in bringing a drug from bench to bedside, and explore some of the questionable practices that have been connected to the industry. We will discuss the process and impacts of new drug development, translational medicine, and drug pricing models, investigating the ethics of balancing patient access, scientific innovation and the sustainability of a complex and often inefficient system. By the end of this course, students will appreciate the complexity of drug development system and understand the critical scientific and ethical challenges the pharmaceutical industry faces in bringing a drug to market.

Prerequisites: Any NST1XXX course

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Mathematics, Analytics, Science and Technology
  • Level: Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: SCN3601
  • Number of Credits: 4