Nearly every large pharmaceutical company has a pharmaceutical research and development department. In addition, private laboratories work towards pharmaceutical research and development on a regular basis. The goal of this type of research is to develop newer and more effective treatments for a number of different ailments.
While it's true that there are effective treatments for many illnesses, this is not the case with every condition. Some people suffer from diseases that do not have any therapeutic choices. Thus, these people must follow a drug routine that may not be beneficial. Through pharmaceutical research and development, these illnesses may have viable treatments in the future. In addition, some pharmaceutical companies also work towards creating better medications than the ones that already exist.
Often, pharmaceutical research and development leads to scientific breakthroughs that can mean the elimination of an illness. While this is rare, without research and development, cures to ailments would never be discovered. Each laboratory works towards perfecting existing medication as well as finding a cure for incurable illnesses.
Some of the diseases that are studied by almost every laboratory include cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. By working towards a cure or treatment for these ailments, people who suffer from any of these diseases may be able to live longer. New medications are being developed every single day across the globe. When an improved medication replaces an existing drug, scientists come one step closer to finding a cure or providing a treatment for a formerly untreatable disease. Within the United States, billions of dollars are invested in research and development on a yearly basis.
An astronomical amount of substances are tested for human usage regularly. Out of all the substances tested, only a very small fraction are deemed safe for human usage. Thus, the amount of money needed to produce new drugs is vast. Only large pharmaceutical companies can afford to test new substances for a wide array of ailments. This is precisely why smaller laboratories only focus on one or two illnesses.
Pharmaceutical research and development is important, though there has also been some controversy surrounding research conducted by large corporations. Some people claim that the results provided by large pharmaceutical companies may be biased. This type of reasoning is based upon the fact that pharmaceutical companies manufacture, sell, and profit from medication. Thus, it is within the best interests of these companies to claim that their medication works better than any other. However, those companies in question largely dispute any claim of this type.