Buying a quality brake pad is like buying prescription medicine. When you are buying a prescription drug you are not just paying the cost to manufacture, package and market the pill. The bulk of what you are paying for is research and development. The same is true for brake pads. Brake pads require a great deal of testing and engineering because they are made for a specific vehicle. A quality brake pad manufacturer will spend a lot of time and money on a developing a brake pad application for your vehicle. This includes simulated and on-the-vehicle testing. This type of testing is people and equipment intensive. Another cost of brake pad manufacturing is quality control. Reputable manufacturers will pull random samples from the production line and perform destructive testing. This costs money and time and may mean that a batch of pads could be rejected. Last, but not least is the cost of raw materials and components like the backing plate, shims and hardware included in the box.
If a manufacturer uses technology like NUCAP’s NRS backing plate, NU-LOK Shim or Quiet Clip abutment hardware, the pad will cost more but cost you and the customer less in terms of a brake related comeback and give greater value because the brake job will last longer.