• Question: Where does the medicines go once you've tested them?

    Asked by Eva M to Rob on 19 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Rob Ives

      Rob Ives answered on 19 Jun 2019:

      Once a medicine has been tested in animals, been shown to be safe in them and actually work, the next stage is to start humans studies. The first human studies involve just a very few, healthy people who will take a small amount of the medicine, just to make sure it is safe. The amount of medicine given to the healthy people is gradually increased up to a level that we think will work to help patients. If the medicine is still seen to be safe, it will be given to a few patients who have the particular disease or condition that the medicine is being used for. This is to see if the medicine works and also checks again if it is safe. If it passes this phase, the medicine is then given to lots more patients and if everything goes well, the medicine might then be approved for you in the wider population. The whole process takes many years and is very expensive.