Press Release

PhRMA Member Companies Invested $51.2 Billion in 2014 R&D

PhRMA April 20, 2015

Since 2000, more than $600 billion invested in developing new medicines for patients

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 20, 2015) Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s (PhRMA) member companies invested an estimated $51.2 billion last year in the research and development (R&D) of new innovative treatments and cures. The figure represents the majority of all biopharmaceutical R&D spending – both public and private – in the United States. The new R&D numbers, the result of a recent survey of PhRMA member companies, are highlighted in the newly released PhRMA 2015 Biopharmaceutical Research Industry Profile as well as a new industry chart pack, Biopharmaceuticals in Perspective.

Despite ongoing economic challenges, the biopharmaceutical industry continues to be one of America’s most research-intensive industries. According to a recent analysis from ndp?analytics, the biopharmaceutical industry leads the manufacturing sector in innovation and economic contributions. Biopharmaceutical companies on average invest as much as six times more in R&D, relative to their sales, than the average U.S. manufacturing firm. In 2014, PhRMA member companies invested nearly 24 percent of domestic sales into R&D.

“What the Industry Profile tells us – unequivocally – is that the commitment of America’s biopharmaceutical companies to solving the world’s most vexing medical challenges has never been more resolute,” said John J. Castellani, president and CEO, PhRMA. “Our companies are tireless in their efforts to develop new innovative, life-saving medicines for patients – and these numbers are proof of that determination in action.”

The industry’s ongoing commitment to R&D was evident in the record number of new medicines brought to U.S. patients last year:  51. Forty-one of those approvals were by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and ten medicines were approved by FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Among the CDER approvals, 41 percent were identified as first-in-class treatments – meaning they use a completely new approach to fighting a disease – and more than 20 percent were personalized medicines.  

The industry’s pledge to R&D is further evidenced by the robust biopharmaceutical pipeline; more than 7,000 medicines are in development globally. A 2012 analysis of the biopharmaceutical pipeline revealed 70 percent of medicines are potential first-in-class treatments. PhRMA members are focused on targeting some of the most challenging and complex conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, while also advancing new frontiers such as personalized medicine.

In order to continue its track record of innovation in an increasingly fiscally challenging environment, the industry has pursued new, collaborative approaches to streamline the R&D process. These efforts include identifying advances in technology to improve R&D productivity and efficiency and partnerships such as the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and Lung-MAP (Lung Cancer Master Protocol).The road to bringing a new FDA-approved medicine to market is a long and formidable one. Only 12 percent of drug candidates that enter clinical testing are eventually approved for use by patients. On average, it takes at least 10 years and more than $2.6 billion to bring a new medicine from the research pipeline to patients.

The industry supports nearly 3.4 million jobs in the U.S. and the overall impact of the sector on the domestic economy is $789 billion annually. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $600 billion in the search for new treatments and cures.

The 2014 R&D numbers reflect investment made by 29 of PhRMA's member companies.

About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $600 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $51.2 billion in 2014 alone.

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