PhRMA member companies invested US$58.8bn in R&D in 2015

Biopharmaceutical industry continues to be most R&D-intensive industry in US economy

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America's (PhRMA) member companies invested an estimated US$58.8bn in research and development (R&D) in 2015, up 10.3% from 2014.

New R&D data based on findings from the 2016 PhRMA annual member survey released in the 2016 Biopharmaceutical Research Industry Profile and corresponding industry chart pack, Biopharmaceuticals In Perspective, highlight the wide-reaching impact of PhRMA member companies on the economy and biopharmaceutical innovation.

In the United States, the biopharmaceutical industry is a driver of economic growth and global competitiveness, and it’s the most research-intensive sector of the US economy, investing on average six times more in R&D as a percentage of sales than all other manufacturing industries. The sector also accounted for an estimated 17% of all US business R&D spending, the largest share of R&D spending by US businesses. Overall, PhRMA member companies alone represented the majority of all biopharmaceutical R&D spending in the United States.

‘Investing more than half a trillion dollars in R&D since 2000, our member companies remain tireless in their commitment to driving innovation and delivering greater value than ever before,’ said Stephen J. Ubl, President and Chief Executive Officer of PhRMA. ‘It is through this increased R&D that the US biopharmaceutical industry continues to lead the world in the development of new medicines to address unmet medical needs of patients.’

Long-term R&D investments made by the biopharmaceutical industry have led to more medicines in clinical development than ever before (more than 7000 medicines globally). From 2000 to 2015, more than 550 new medicines were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, including a record 56 new medicines in 2015.

Given just 12% of medicines in clinical trials ever make it to patients, it is critical we have pragmatic, pro-innovation policies to sustain the long-term investments needed to develop tomorrow's cures.

Each day, PhRMA member companies learn more about different types of diseases and harness scientific advances to discover new treatments and cures for patients. As highlighted in the recently released Medicines in Development for Rare Diseases, the biopharmaceutical industry is currently developing more than 560 medicines for patients with rare diseases.

The industry is also making strides in the development of treatments for Alzheimer's, cancer and heart disease, among other devastating conditions. This progress underscores the need for public policies that maintain a healthcare system that recognises the value of medicines and incentivises researchers to continue to develop new treatments and cures.

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