R&D productivity has been on the decline in recent years, in part because of an explosion in potential drug targets in the absence of associated technologies to provide target validation and lead optimization and in part because the easy drug targets have all been exploited. The remaining unmet need being targeted today is less understood (mechanistically speaking) and thus much more challenging in terms of drug development.
An analysis of leading pharmaceutical companies’ current R&D efforts gives us a window into the future of the pharmaceutical marketplace. Some of the most active areas of Phase II and III development are oncology, anti-infectives, CNS drugs, musculoskeletal/pain drugs, and respiratory drugs. However, based on current R&D pipelines, we project either minimal or negative growth over the next several years from those companies that have consistently spent more than 20% of their ethical drug sales on R&D, underscoring the difficulties that companies are facing (e.g., generic erosion, declining reimbursement, saturated markets). To remain competitive, companies must be smarter and more efficient in their R&D spending.
Companies: Top 25 pharmaceutical companies.
Global sales: 2012, 2019, top 25 pharma, top 100 drugs, therapy area.
R&D: therapy area, technology type, R&D investment.