Return on drug R&D dropping


The pharma industry is getting less and less return on investment in R&D, according to a report. But the trend seems to be bottoming out and – on a more positive note – there are more compounds going into late stage development.

Consultants Deloitte and data firm Thomson Reuters looked at twelve pharma companies and estimated the projected financial returns from the R&D investment in their late stage pipeline, comprising products that are in Phase III trials, but have yet to be approved for marketing.

They found that the return fell from 7.7% in 2010–11 to 7.2% in 2011–12, but the number of number of compounds entering the late stage pipeline more than doubled from 35 to 78.

Overall, the results present a mixed bag for the optimists. The number of approvals increased from 32 to 41, but the total forecast sales of all approvals fell by a third, from $309 billion (£192 billion) to $211 billion. Meanwhile, the total forecast sales of candidates in late stage pipelines declined from $1,370 billion in 2010 to $1,050 billion in 2012.


Related Content

The hunt for innovation

31 January 2014 Premium contentFeature

news image

Big pharma companies are embracing a more open and collaborative approach. Nuala Moran discovers who’s working with whom

Protecting patients at all costs

23 August 2012 Comments

news image

Suffering stagnant output, and beset by patent expiries and spiralling costs, drug discovery is in poor health. Simon Campbel...

Most Read

No-frills coats set a trend for designer viruses

26 August 2014 Research

news image

An artificial protein that self-assembles around and protects DNA could be ideal for gene therapy, nanomachines and synthetic...

Rigid molecular wires make electrons fly

29 August 2014 Research

news image

Organic wires conduct electrons 800 times faster than other molecular counterparts by letting them hitch a ride on a vibratio...

Most Commented

Rigid molecular wires make electrons fly

29 August 2014 Research

news image

Organic wires conduct electrons 800 times faster than other molecular counterparts by letting them hitch a ride on a vibratio...

Concerns over chemical treatment of reclaimed fracking fluid

29 August 2014 Research

news image

Current recycling procedure may do more harm than good