Let's Start A Clinical Research Revolution
By Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader magazine
R&D costs per NME (new molecular entity) are increasing at exponential rates. When you consider a pharma company’s R&D spend in a year, and divide that by the number of drugs approved, you obtain clarity on the skyrocketing cost for successful drug discovery. In a November 2012 presentation, Novartis Global Head of Development, Timothy Wright, M.D., estimated his company’s R&D costs for the 21 recently approved drugs to average a stunning $3.9 billion per new drug. This may seem high, but is well below the industry average of $5.2 billion. When comparing Novartis’ numbers to its top 10 pharma peers, they look really good, having the lowest cost per drug. Merck is fairly close at $4.2 billion per drug (16 approvals in 2012), while AstraZeneca is in the stratosphere, averaging a staggering $11.7 billion for its five approvals.