Drug development and testing

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Developing new drugs

Before medical drugs can be sold or prescribed they must be tested to see if they are safe and work. These are the stages of development:

1) Computer models and human cells (grown in a laboratory) test them.

2) The few drugs which pass this step are tested on animals to predict any possible side effects that they could give a human.

3) When the drugs pass these tests clinical trials on healthy volunteers are carried out. To start with only a small dosage is used, but this is increased to find the optimum dosage.

Drug development is very expensive and takes a long time, but can make a lot of money in the long term if successful, and it can save lives, however the clinical trials are dangerous.

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