Drug makers invested $49.5 billion in R&D in 2011, report finds


WASHINGTON — Drug companies invested nearly $50 billion in research and development in 2011, according to a new report by a drug industry trade group.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said in its latest report that with $49.5 billion of investment, the biopharmaceutical sector accounted for the single largest share of all U.S. business research and development, and related expenditures among PhRMA member companies represented 21.1% of domestic sales.

"Despite facing market, scientific and regulatory challenges, the U.S. biopharmaceutical sector, led by our member companies, has remained a major contributor to American innovation," PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. "Our member companies' investment represents a boost to America's economy, with 78% of those dollars invested on our shores."

PhRMA said the Food and Drug Administration approved 35 new drugs last year, one of the highest annual totals in the last decade, including two personalized medicines for cancer, 11 for rare diseases and the first new lupus drug since 1955. Personalized medicine represents a major area of investment, with 94% of companies in a recent survey by the Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development responding that they currently are investing in the field.


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