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Money, Energy and Patience


We influence the world by putting energy into the things we care about.


It could be the daily pruning of a garden, the back and forth iterations of a document, or the long hours and weekends on the bench, doing Scientific research…


Money is the token to transform this energy around- we pay for raw materials, for people's work, for infrastructure, and taxes, in hopes that in the long run, they would create more Value than what it had cost to produce it. Negative cashflow is very hard to sustain for long periods because investors want their ROI, and banks want their loans back.


Drug development multiplies this challenge by hundreds of millions of dollars and decades of risk, until a clear readout is obtained on whether a new drug is safe and effective. It involves the hard work of hundreds of people, of (very) expensive manufacturing campaigns, and of overcoming innumerous risks, on top of all the “normal” business challenges when reaching the market.


That's one of the reasons why new pharmaceutical products are so expensive. The only way to accommodate the business risk of investing in such dreams, is a high return on investment. Since each single product represents too high of risk, investors (and large companies) oftentimes hold a portfolio of such projects in the hopes that a successful one would cover the losses incurred in all the others.


This closely resembles the experience of our fellow Scientists in the Academia (though with much less money 😉), as they invest lifetimes in the painstaking pursuit of knowledge, without any guarantees they would discover anything meaningful. For sure, this is a good skill to foster when arriving at the doors of the Pharmaceutical Development field which is embedded with Science and its challenges.


Energy invested over long periods of time inevitably creates very large trees, so patience is key. Hopefully the branch you are working on right now will grow and expand, but even if it doesn't, we are all sitting on the same tree and eventually enjoy its fruits, so thank you!


 

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