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Repurposing Existing Products Could Speed Up Drug, Vaccine Development

STAT: How to speed up drug and vaccine development during a public health crisis
Michelle L. Rose, principal consultant, and Claudia K. Fehling consultant, both with Halloran Consulting Group

“…The entire process [of drug and vaccine development], from basic research to Food and Drug Administration approval, averages about 10 years for drugs and 10 to 15 years for vaccines. A public health crisis doesn’t change the process or let you circumvent any of the steps involved. One way to speed up drug or vaccine development is to leverage existing products through repurposing. That means using an existing drug or vaccine for a different use than the one it was approved for. Because the drug or vaccine has already been tested for safety and is being manufactured, it can likely be rapidly disseminated. … Funding tends to arrive after a public health crisis has already begun. … [R]epurposing represents a promising solution for speeding up drug or vaccine development during public health crises…” (11/9).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.