So the Gap Doesn’t Widen Too Much (Archived)

Recently, there has been much talk in the scientific community about the importance of financing studies and research in all areas, which is a necessity without which there is no improvement or progression.


Despite the fact that there are certain sciences that are prohibited in the third world, which are known to the reader, there are other sciences that the major countries did not find a reason to list it as prohibited, such as humanities and medicine.


And even though all the factors for progress in this field, human or material, are in our hands, we are still decades behind, and the reason is our unawareness of the importance of financing studies and research.


In order to prove this point and clear the image, I will talk about one example only, which is the production of medicine. According to different scientific resources, the cost of researching, studying and producing one medication to reach the marketing stage is between $350 – 500 million, and takes anywhere between 10-12 years.


According to a report by the Medical Research Center in Britain in 1997, the pharmaceutical companies in America represent 36% of the total research and development, followed by pharmaceutical companies in Japan with 19%, then 10% in Germany, 9% in France, 7% in Britain, 5% in Switzerland, 3% in Sweden, 3% in Italy and finally 8% in the rest of world countries.


In America, the estimated spending on research and drug production in 1997 was $19 billion.


Despite the absence of accurate numbers in the Arab world, estimates indicate that the sum of what Arab countries combined spend on medical research every year does not exceed the average spending of an international pharmaceutical company to produce one medication, which ranges between $300-500 million, knowing that there are hundreds of other medications being studies nowadays, and most pharmaceutical companies finance the research and studies of tens of medications simultaneously.


We realize that there is a time gap between us and them, but we hope that it shrinks day after day by following serious and correct methods.


Taking these methods is actually a religious obligation before being a cultural necessity. How can we spread the word of God on earth and export the teachings of our religion to other nations while we are still consumers?


We are living in a time when the one who has the reins of scientific progress is the one who has the right to talk and export their civilization, thoughts, culture, beliefs and lifestyle.


The scientific gap between us and them will keep widening until the day when we realize the importance of financing research and studies, inventions and discoveries, and raise the status of science and scientists.

OKAZ Newspaper – Tuesday 9 Shaaban 1418 AH falling on 9 December 1997 AD