Generalizing the 5/10/15 Rule for U.S. Drug Development, Or The Cycle of the New

“U.S. drug development cycle, which he says “always follows the 5/10/15 rule. For the first 5 years, companies hype new drugs; next 5 years all hidden side effects are exposed, leading to black-box warnings and class action lawsuits; in [the] last 5 years, the companies start dissing their own old drug as the patent runs out to begin the hype cycle for their next new drug.” 

-Jane Metclafe, “2023 Predictions-The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.” neo.life. January 2023

This article on 2023 predictions is worth reading in full. However, I particularly found this piece interesting. Ultimately, this is about how incentives drive behavior. So, we might generalize this rule to something like: “Any novel thing goes through a period that focuses on benefits, another period on the risks, then finally becomes the status quo that will be replaced by some other, new thing.”

What is Amazon?

“So, what is Amazon? It started as an unbound Walmart, an algorithm for running an unbound search for global optima in the world of physical products. It became a platform for adapting that algorithm to any opportunity for customer-centric value creation that it encountered. If it devises a way to keep its incentive structures intact as it exposes itself through its ever-expanding external interfaces, it – or its various split-off subsidiaries – will dominate the economy for a generation. And if not, it’ll be just another company that seemed unstoppable until it wasn’t.”

-Zack Kantor, “What is Amazon?zackkantor.com. March 13, 2019.