Has the pandemic enabled us to accelerate the pace of drug development?

Most of us were blindsided by the novel virus SarsCov2, but infectious disease experts had been warning about the possibility of a global pandemic for some years. For them, it was never a matter of if, but when. What did come as a surprise was the speed of scientific progress to fight Covid 19. The first effective vaccine, from Pfizer/BioNTech, was developed in under 300 days, followed in successive weeks by Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca.

The results of the UK’s RECOVERY trial, which was organised in a matter of weeks, has saved an estimated million lives worldwide by identifying which treatments are effective in treating Covid 19. And regulators around the globe are using innovative programmes to get medical products to people faster. During the pandemic, the world witnessed how fast medicine can advance with an abundance of cash and collaboration. Question: is progress at this speed and cost sustainable? 

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