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VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA) And The Rising Cost Of Medicines

|Includes: VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VTGN)

If there is one thing that seems to define modern health care, it's costs. Today, there are options that never had to be considered in the past, but options that come at a price. High-tech healthcare costs money, but most people are also glad to have such options available and wouldn't want to go back to the old days. However, there is one area of cost that is especially controversial. The fast rising cost of pharmaceuticals is difficult for most people to appreciate. After all, one pill looks pretty much like another. But the pharmaceutical industry is quick to point out a range of factors that have fed the frightening increase in the price paid for these pills.

First and foremost is the exploding cost of research and development. One study suggests that the average cost of bringing a new drug to market has risen from $199 million in the 1970s, itself an impressive figure, to almost $1.9 billion. Further studies suggest that this 10-fold jump is due to several factors, including more time spent in clinical testing plus stricter regulations that can end up ruining years of research. The fact is drug development is far riskier today, with the chances of success much smaller than they used to be. It takes twice as long to get an approval, and the odds of getting approved at all are only about one in ten.

VistaGen Therapeutics offers a major source of help in potentially reducing these costs. The company has used its advanced proprietary stem cell technology to create a unique testing platform for new drug development called Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube. It will allow drug development companies to greatly reduce the risks involved in drug development by giving them a way to test drugs on real human tissues while still in the lab, long before any clinical trials. Companies can thereby avoid the chance of spending huge amounts of money developing a drug only to have it get pulled in clinical trials due to heart or liver toxicity.

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