Phar­ma, we have a prob­lem: New drugs can't cov­er the cost of Big Phar­ma's fail­ures

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The an­nu­al Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal In­no­va­tion In­dex mea­sures pret­ty much the on­ly thing that mat­ters in phar­ma: did you take as­sets to mar­ket (and to pa­tients) in the past 5 years, and did you do so suc­cess­ful­ly? Any mea­sures of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty that miss those two pa­ra­me­ters are sur­ro­gates, and in­cred­i­bly mis­lead­ing.

How­ev­er, take a look at these num­bers, which com­pare per­for­mance of the top 11 in the 2018 In­dex with the low­est 10. Per­haps no sur­prise that the biggest spenders had a much greater chance of an ap­proval in any year over the 5 years, and there­fore de­rived much more of their rev­enue in 2017 from prod­ucts launched in that pe­ri­od. But, we’re still on­ly talk­ing about 1 ap­proval per year for the top 11 com­pa­nies, on av­er­age.

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