Press Release

R&D Investment by U.S. Companies Reached Record Levels

PhRMA March 16, 2011

Washington, D.C. (March 15, 2011) — Demonstrating a steady and ongoing commitment to innovative R&D, America’s biopharmaceutical research companies invested a record $67.4 billion last year in the research and development of new medicines and vaccines – an increase of $1.5 billion from 2009, according to analyses by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Burrill & Company.

PhRMA member companies alone spent an estimated $49.4 billion on biopharmaceutical R&D last year, a 6.5 percent increase over 2010, according to the PhRMA survey. The Burrill & Company analysis shows that additional biopharmaceutical research companies in the United States spent an estimated $18.0 billion on R&D in 2010.

America’s biopharmaceutical research companies lead the world in the pursuit of new, life-saving and life-enhancing medicines, with a majority of the research conducted in the U.S. Among PhRMA member companies, more than 75 percent of research dollars were invested in the U.S.

The percentage of U.S. sales that PhRMA member companies invested in R&D also grew. Over the past decade, biopharmaceutical companies have consistently invested around 19 percent of domestic sales on R&D activities; in 2010, that figure jumped to 20.5 percent. This echoes previous findings about sector commitment to R&D, such as that of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which called the sector “one of the most research-intensive industries in the United States.”

“America’s biopharmaceutical research companies encounter significant challenges throughout the research and development process, but still they do not falter in their commitment,” said PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani. “This dedication to innovation means hope for millions of American patients and value for the healthcare system as a whole. Improved treatment options can lead to better patient health and to controlled healthcare costs in the future.”

U.S.-based biopharmaceutical research does not just lead to tomorrow’s new medicines – it also supports jobs today. According to a recent study conducted by Archstone Consulting, roughly 655,000 people in the U.S. worked for America’s biopharmaceutical research companies in 2008 (the most recent year that data were available). Importantly, each of those jobs supported 3.7 additional jobs, with a total of nearly 3.1 million jobs supported by the sector.

One way that biopharmaceutical research companies support additional jobs is through the collaborative research ecosystem that helps America maintain its place as the global leader in worldwide medical innovation. By building on the basic research conducted by government-funded academic researchers, biopharmaceutical companies help to spur continued research at all levels.

“Today, we in America enjoy the varied benefits of our innovation leadership,” said Castellani. “Unfortunately, foreign governments are eyeing those benefits and trying to lure America’s biopharmaceutical community away from us. As our companies continue to pursue the R&D that is the lifeblood of the sector, we encourage lawmakers to implement a national medical innovation agenda that will establish reliable regulatory and reimbursement policies, promote intellectual property incentives, and sustain our R&D infrastructure to support tomorrow’s biopharmaceutical sector.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.4 billion in 2010 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $67.4 billion in 2010.

PhRMA Internet Address:
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit:
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit:
For more information on public health emergencies, visit
For information on the danger of imported drugs, visit: