Research and Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry | Rondaxe

Every year, the pharmaceutical industry in the United States creates several new pharmaceuticals with significant medical advantages. Unfortunately, many of these treatments are prohibitively costly, increasing healthcare expenses for the private and public sectors. Policymakers have long considered measures to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals and government drug spending, but such limits would almost certainly diminish the pharmaceutical industry’s desire to do new research.

In one study, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) examined changes in pharmaceutical R&D investment and the launch of new pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, the CBO investigates the following variables which influence how much money pharmaceutical firms actually spend on R&D:

  • Profits from a new drug expected to be made on a global scale
  • The expenses associated with producing a new medicine
  • Regulations imposed by the government that influence medication supply and demand

What are the most recent trends in pharmaceutical R&D and new drug approvals?

The pharmaceutical industry spent $83 billion on research and development in 2019. These funds were used for various objectives including developing and testing innovative pharmaceuticals; the development of incremental upgrades such as product expansions; and clinical testing for safety and marketing considerations. After accounting for inflation, the amount spent is about 10 times what the sector paid yearly in the 1980s.

Furthermore, pharmaceutical firms’ percentage of revenue spent on research and development has increased. Pharmaceutical companies spent about a quarter of their sales (net of expenditures and buyer rebates) on research and development in 2019, roughly twice as much as they did in 2000. This revenue share is much larger than other knowledge-based businesses like semiconductors, specialized hardware and software.

During the last decade, the number of new pharmaceuticals authorized each year has increased. For example, from 2010 to 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an average of 38 new drugs each year (with a high of 59 in 2018); this pace is 60% higher than the preceding decade’s average.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Several pharmaceuticals licensed in recent years have been classified as “specialty drugs”. These are often prescribed to treat chronic, complex, or unique conditions that need expert patient care or monitoring. Many specialty drugs are biologicals (large-molecule pharmaceuticals generated from live-cell lines) which are difficult to produce and copy, and are sometimes prohibitively costly. Until recently, the vast majority of pharmaceuticals were made up of small molecules produced from chemical components. Even though they held patent protection, these treatments were less expensive than more contemporary specialized pharmaceuticals. According to statistics on the types of drugs now undergoing clinical trials, most of the industry’s creative work is focused on specialty pharmaceuticals which may give novel cancer therapies and treatments for nervous system ailments like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.




Rondaxe is a leading pharmaceutical consulting & development company, assisting organizations in product formulation and CMC solutions.

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Miguel Fyron

Miguel Fyron

Rondaxe is a leading pharmaceutical consulting & development company, assisting organizations in product formulation and CMC solutions.

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