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The gaps in translating biomedical advance into patient benefit 

The gaps in translating biomedical advance into patient benefit
The gaps in translating biomedical advance into patient benefit

Richard Barker

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date: 05 June 2020

There are no less than five major gaps in translation in the long journey from discovery to practical patient benefit. Insufficient understanding of disease mechanisms (T0), limited skills and motivation in turning lab discoveries into potential products (T1), huge wastage in bringing promising products to market (T2), disappointingly slow adoption by doctors and adherence by patients (T3), and failure to learn from past experience (T4): all cripple the productivity of life sciences. T2 is a particular challenge, especially in medicines, with a high attrition rate in costly clinical trials and increasing difficulties in persuading health technology assessment (HTA) agencies of the added-value of new technologies, combined with HTA differences across countries. Major cultural barriers between academia, practical medicine, and industry make matters worse, as mismatched incentives and mutual suspicion impede collaboration. The net result is poor yield at every stage in the innovation process and therefore very poor translation overall.

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