Coming up with new molecules is (surprisingly) pretty straightforward in and of itself, particularly nowadays with advances in combinatorial chemistry, high throughput screening, computer-aided drug design processes, and an increasingly robust understanding of the human body. But IIRC this is Aragorn's wheelhouse, not mine.
Coming up with drugs that are able to run the gauntlet to become one of those cheerfully dismal commercials you see on TV is much more difficult. And that's not just because one commercial of middle-aged couples watching sunsets from twin bathtubs on a beach is exactly one more commercial of that type than anyone ever asked for. I don't know the failure rate prior to earnest preclinical investigation (they get shelved for any number of reasons), but after entering the pipeline, figures commonly thrown around report that it takes anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 new chemical entities to produce 1 FDA-approved product.
90% of all drugs that make it to human testing fail, with specific therapies flopping in rates generally proportional to the complexity of the disease or system being targeted. The vast majority (again, 90%+) are pulled due to safety / efficacy considerations, which is why I think this discussion is preposterous.
These in-human trials constitute the largest financial hurdle for a pharmaceutical company looking to bring a drug to market, and as someone who is familiar with the implementation and execution of such endeavors, I'm curious if Zep is arguing the merits of amputation without actually understanding the rot, itself.