Worth a Read: AstraZeneca's Thoughts on R&D Productivity

Worth a Read: AstraZeneca's Thoughts on R&D Productivity

06.16.11 | By Kate Connors

In recent months, there has been a good deal of discussion about R&D productivity, with references, for example, to a slight decline in the average number of new medicines approved by the FDA in recent years.
This, of course, is at a time when we continue to see record investment in R&D, with America's biopharmaceutical research companies last year investing $67.4 billion in the discovery and development of new medicines.
Laura Woodin at AstraZeneca directed my attention to her blog post over at AZ Health Connections. In her post, she discusses an article in Nature Review Drug Discovery that found " 'an increasing concentration of R&D investments in areas in which the risk of failure is high, which correspond to unmet therapeutic needs and unexploited biological mechanisms.'" This attention to taking a chance on unmet medical needs, in turn, has led to a decline in new medicines despite an increase in investment - NOT, as some critics would have people believe, a lack of commitment on the part of companies.
It's interesting to read her thoughts, from a company perspective, rather than mine. She writes: "We must continue to push the boundaries of science to find new medicines that make a difference for the people who need them."

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