The finale of ‘Jewels’ asks: how does a compound go from the rainforest to the pharmacy? Where Dr. Strobel’s research leaves off, the work is just beginning for pharmaceutical companies looking to create new drugs. The testing phase may take years and many millions of dollars before a new drug hits the shelves of the local pharmacy. And the odds are remarkably slim: only one in 10,000 compounds are brought to market. But for Dr. Strobel, the process is not just a one-way street. After a compound is licensed, Strobel returns to Australia to share the news of the discovery and to offer a percentage of the profits back to the aboriginal people. In this way, he preserves a mutual relationship of respect between cultures. In turn, this makes the work truly sustainable: knowledge and resources complete the cycle and return to nourish and reward the origin. This cycle guarantees that new shoots will continue to grow.
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