The biotech industry is one of the most successful professions right now. Even though this branch of medicine was produced in the past century, it didn’t have much success. They worked well on some patients and not-so-good on other patients. The reason for the drugs’ failure remained unknown most of the time.
However, in recent times, the biotech industry has made commendable advancements in many fields, especially genetics. They have now started producing medicine and drugs according to each person’s genetics, and the results have been phenomenal!
Nonetheless, despite all its successes, there are some critical challenges that the biotech industry has to face. Here are a few of the limitations associated with this particular industry.
Top 5 Challenges That the Biotech Industry is Facing
The biotech field has undoubtedly produced amazing results over the past few years. So much so that the biotechnology industry is worth billions.
It doesn’t stop there, though! Investors continue to invest in this particular industry to produce life-saving medicine.
However, they still face issues daily, and this article will discuss a few of them in detail!
1. Higher Risk Associated with Biotech
When a biotech industry develops a new product, they usually get patent protection. That is useful during their research and development process (R&D) and gives them a head start in the medicine market.
When the patent protection runs out, they already have a well-established position in the market, unlike their competitors. But, for the investors, this is a challenge. They have to decide whether the industry’s product holds potential for massive rewards or not.
The only assurance that biotech companies have is the hope to launch a successful product. The R&D period is a relatively lengthy process. Then comes the process of developing it, which is very expensive.
Still, after the development process, the industry needs to get its product approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Again, this is also a long process, just to have it sell in the market. During this approval process, it’s tested on individuals to ensure that it’s safe and whatnot.
It can take up to 10 years to get this approval, and as we have seen recently, the world has begun to change quickly. So, even if you get the consent after a few years, there might be specific changes in the market that might negatively affect the selling of the product.
Chances of Approval
According to a report, here are the chances of a product making it through at each stage:
- Development Stage: 36% of products and medicines fail.
- Approval Stage: 68% of drugs and medicine fail to make it past this stage.
- Final Stage of Launching: 40% fail at the last stage.
2. Biotech Industry is Costly
By now, you might have an idea of how costly the biotech field really is. In 2022, its worth has risen to $151 billion. Even though some might argue, healthcare has become extremely expensive over the years.
If this price continues to rise, the R&D of the biotech industry might slow down since there won’t be enough funds.
Each stage of biotech development requires significant amounts up to billions. Not every company in this industry gets enough funds to continue their research or launch their product. It negatively impacts the healthcare system.
However, not only biotechnologists suffer from these high prices. When prices to develop these products are high, the selling price will also be increased. Medicine has already become costly, and it will continue to do so unless the government issues a price control on these products.
Medicine is every patient’s right. What happens when they suffer from a severe illness and cannot afford it? It is something that requires urgent attention!
3. Slow Development
Another critical issue of the biotech industry is its slow development. The societal conditions seem to change rapidly. However, drug production and development are not fast enough to keep up with these changes.
With the environmental changes, the human body adapts to its surrounding. Since the whole process can take up to a decade, it might not be viable to the human body when it’s on the market. It can have adverse effects, and companies risk losing billions of dollars that they invested into the whole process.
4. Patient Privacy
Patient privacy is a rising concern in the biotechnology field. Because of the latest advancements in technology, biotechnologists will be able to access future health problems of a patient.
As researchers prosper, they’ll excel at decoding someone’s genetic composition. For example, it’ll be possible to know if a 10-year-old kid will develop heart disease later.
However, what you should be wondering is who should have access to this type of information? Should every employee and researcher be allowed to know a patient’s in-depth health conditions?
Additionally, if genes develop more, they can be used unethically against the patient’s consent. There is a controversy that these genes can be used for cloning or other chemical issues. Many patients are against this theory for religious and ethical purposes. Nonetheless, it’s a concerning issue associated with biotech.
The biotech industry still has a lot of room for improvement. It’s still relatively new. However, the success of this field up till now has been remarkable. It’s no doubt that as time advances, it will continue to grow more and more.
The medicine industry can make significant breakthroughs if they incorporate biotech into their field. Other industries can also profit using biotech if they keep a few of these risks in mind.
However, addressing all these concerns, many biotechnologists hope that there’s a solution to develop and produce medicine at a lower price. It will be beneficial to the field workers and the patients as well!
Also Read: Gene Therapy and Biotechnology