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Failures in pharma R&D may pave the way for medical breakthroughs of the future.

Failures in pharma R&D may pave the way for medical breakthroughs of the future.

Nobody wants to experience failure, but everybody does occasionally. Some experience failure more than others. This is the case for those who work in medical research, as failure is so often a part of the job while on the road to scientific discovery. While many consider failure to be a completely negative experience, that’s not always the case, as every failure is still a lesson learned. Occasionally, these failures can even lead to some of the biggest breakthroughs in medical history.

Turning failure into innovation

In a recent article, the former president of Pfizer Global Research and Development details just how failures in the pharmaceutical industry can actually lead to innovations later down the line. In his article, he talks about how the study of a drug that was designed to raise HDL-cholesterol ended up failing to show that the drug was able to help prevent heart attacks and stroke. But this failure turned out to be a pretty big breakthrough for the pharmaceutical industry, as it ended up proving that elevating levels of HDL-cholesterol through medication had little to no impact on heart attacks and strokes, thus ending the theory that increasing one’s amount of “good cholesterol” could help prevent such...

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