Saturday, September 20, 2003

Business 2.0 - Magazine Article - Numbers: Money In, Fewer Drugs OutDoes money buy you success? Apparently, not for the pharmaceutical industry. According to Datamonitor / PhRMA US drugs companies have increased R&D spending from under $5bn in 1986 up to over $25bn in 2002. In terms of what the money has produced, the number of new drug approvals from the FDA is only fractionally above its 1986 level - 25 in 2002, compared with 20 in 1986. Interestingly the peak for approvals came in 1996 with over 50 approvals. Track the peak back 10 - 15 years, the average time it takes to develop a drug to the approval stage, and you find that if anything, the more money they spend, the worse the situation becomes. Many suspect that there are huge inefficiencies in the process of drug discovery and development that are to blame. In our view, pharma R&D is ripe for radical innovation.

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