Can the Vaccine Rollout Guide Us to More Efficient Health Care?
See this article as it originally appeared in Inc.
What the Covid vaccine taught us, and how we can be better.
With Covid-19 vaccine progress ahead of targets, it’s clear that the pharmaceutical industry has come through in a big way when the country needed it most. The vaccines were developed, approved, and distributed on a larger scale and faster than any other vaccine or medicine in history. Perhaps this experience could open our minds to a more efficient future for the U.S. health care system.
Review process for drugs can be both swift and safe.
Under normal conditions, it takes new drugs an average of 12 years to navigate the approval process and get to market. Everyone agrees the process should be thorough to ensure drugs are safe and effective. The fast-track and breakthrough approval pathways improve the approval timeline. But couldn’t the overall system be faster?
The Covid-19 vaccines showed how fast this process can move. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and a guaranteed buyer in the U.S. government sped up the process, but studies and trials were conducted to the same high standard of every other drug.
Now that we’ve seen the review system’s top speed, surely we can quicken the average. Doing so would dramatically decrease pharmaceutical costs and get life-saving and life-changing new medications to people who desperately need them.