Biotech Voices, R&D

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

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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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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