Learning about each stage of drug development

An engaging overview of the pharmaceutical industry from drug discovery to marketed medicines.

‘Basic principles of drug discovery and development’ by Benjamin E Blass

The journey from drug discovery to a marketed medicine takes many years, many people and many millions of pounds. This book does an admirable job of summarising the processes involved at each stage of development. Targeted at readers wanting to learn about or perhaps work in the pharmaceutical industry, there are chapters on target identification, drug candidate screening, medicinal chemistry, pharmacokinetics, animal models, toxicology, and clinical trials. It also provides useful information on the pharmaceutical industry as a business, for example, discussing the role of mergers, contract research organisations, academic collaborations and patents.

Each section includes appropriate background  information. Basic concepts are diligently explained throughout, and the illustrations are clear and add much to the text. The author is enthusiastic about his subject matter and this comes through in the writing, which is engaging and easy to follow. This book would be useful for pharmacy students as an overview of the pharmaceutical industry and a useful reference text that explains a range of pharmaceutical concepts in a straightforward manner.

Avoiding bland ‘drug X’-style scenarios, Blass uses named drug examples and case studies to provide real-life context to the concepts described. The book is thoroughly referenced for those who want further information, and students will find the questions at the end of each chapter useful to check their understanding.


‘Basic principles of drug discovery and development’ by Benjamin E Blass. Pp xv+574 £60.99. London: Elsevier; 2015. ISBN 978 0 12 411508 8

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, November 2015, Vol 295, No 7883;295(7883):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20069496