BOSTON - An unpublished study that examines the cost of bringing a new drug to market has revived debate over whether data should be released to the public prior to peer review. The study, which cites a figure that is nearly twice as high as previous estimates, is already being used in ongoing discussions over federal policies on drug pricing and the investment in research by the pharmaceutical industry.

The just-completed analysis by the Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development reported that it takes 12 years and the equivalent of $231 million (in 1987 dollars) to bring a single new prescription drug to market. The cost cited is more than double that of 10 years ago, even after adjusting for inflation, and the length of time is two years longer than previously judged. About half of the total consists of "time costs," or money lost by forgoing...

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