When a pharmaceutical company wants to develop a new drug, the research team picks a condition and a likely molecule and starts exploring possibilities. Once a company has a promising compound, the clinical trial process starts. There are four phases , and new medications have to complete each phase successfully to win FDA approval. The process is long and expensive . Depending on the type of drug being tested, phase 2 trials can cost anywhere from $7 million to $19 million, and the budget for phase 3 trials are even higher: $11.5 million to $52.9 million. Only about 13% of drugs that start the process make it to the drugstore.