In 2015, PhRMA member companies invested $58.8 billion in research and development, up 10.3% from 2014. The new R&D data is based on findings from the 2016 PhRMA annual member survey released in the 2016 Biopharmaceutical Research Industry Profile and the corresponding industry chart pack, Biopharmaceuticals in Perspective, which highlighted 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 is the most research-intensive sector of the economy. The biopharmaceutical industry invests an average of six times more in R&D as a percentage of sales than all other manufacturing industries. The sector also accounted for approximately 17% of all business R&D spending by U.S. businesses. Overall, PhRMA member companies represented the majority of all biopharmaceutical R&D spending in the United States.
According to Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of PhRMA,
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. It is through this increased R&D that the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry continues to lead the world in the development of new medicines to address unmet medical needs of patients.
The increase in long-term R&D investments made by the biopharmaceutical industry have led to more medicines in clinical development than ever before, more than 7,000 medicines globally. As a sign of how increased R&D can really help, from 2000 to 2015, more than 550 new medicines were approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – including 56 new medicines in 2015 alone. Since only 12% of medicines in clinical trials make it to patients, it is critical that there are pro-innovation policies in place that can help sustain the long-term investments needed to develop tomorrow's cures.
As noted in the recently-released "Medicines in Development for Rare Diseases," the biopharmaceutical industry is currently developing more than 560 medicines for patient with rare diseases. The industry is also working to find cures and other treatments for Alzheimer's, cancer and heart disease, and other devastating conditions. This progress once again makes clear that public policies are needed that maintain a health care system that recognizes the value of medicines and incentivizes researchers to continue to develop new treatments and cures for patients.
Of those 560 medicines currently in development for rare diseases, 151 are for rare cancers and 82 are for rare blood cancers; 1468 are for generic disorders, including cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy; 38 for neurological disorders, including ALS and seizures; 31 for infectious diseases, including rare bacterial infections and hepatitis; and 25 for autoimmune diseases, including systemic sclerosis and juvenile arthritis.
ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), is notorious for being a rare disease with no cure. However, new therapies that are currently under development, such as antisense technology against SOD1, are a step toward helping patients and their families manage the disease.
These figures and anecdotes show that the biopharmaceutical industry is delivering true value to Americans by transforming patient's lives, lowering projected health care costs, strengthening the United States economy, and helping to improve the drug review and approval process, all while continuing to invest for the long term health of our country.