How drugs are developed

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Are the events portrayed in the film at all realistic?

Well if we could develop and distributing a vaccine in the time frame shown in the film it raises questions as to how I have managed to waste the last 25 years of my life.   The reality is that the average time required to develop and license a drug for use in humans is between 10-15 years.  Only 1 in 10,000 drugs that start this process make it to the pharmacy and it has been end up estimated to that to develop a successful drug will cost in the order of $2.5 billion dollars.  The prime reason why the process is so expensive and time consuming is the need to demonstrate that the drug actually works and that it does not harm the person who is being treated.  

The same cannot be said for natural products such as Forsythia, the alternative remedy described in the film.  While the fruit of this plant  is widely used in Chinese traditional medicine for the treatment of bacterial infections and upper respiratory ailments there is little data, other than word of mouth,  on which to determine its ability to kill bacteria and viruses.

In the west we live in a world in which we expect our drugs and treatments to be backed up by science which requires the production of verifiable evidence.  The film present no evidence that the drug has any value in the treatment of infected individuals other the unsupported claims of an individual who make full use of social media to dispute the claims of the scientists and at the same time profit to the tune of over £4 million dollars.

The internet is a useful tool but one should treat what one reads on it with a degree of skepticism. Many of the claims posted, such as the ability of a wonder drug to kill all know germs, provided no evidence and may be the product of a fertile, overworked but underpowered mind!

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Could it really happen?

Could it really happen? Are the events portrayed in the film at all realistic?