Record-breaking pharmaceutical R&D investment

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the sectors in which investment in R&D is most needed. Every year, laboratories need to invest a large part of their income in research and development to advance new therapies, drugs and vaccines that help safeguard public health.

If research is essential in the normal course of our environment, it is a must in the health context in which we find ourselves. The data support this statement. This is reflected in the figures provided by the American employers' association PhRMA, which represents the pharmaceutical companies present in the United States. According to the report of its last financial year corresponding to 2019, the entities associated to this organization last year beat a record in the expenditure allocated to R+D, with a volume of 83,000 million dollars, the equivalent to 22% of the turnover of the companies associated to this employer.

In addition, this investment represented nearly one-sixth of the total R&D budget in the United States last year among all sectors and businesses. It is expected that this budget will have increased significantly during this year 2020 due to the numerous studies to find a vaccine against Covid-19.

The largest part of the expenditure, almost 30% of the total, was for phase III clinical studies, in which the vaccine candidate drug is administered to thousands of patients to test the effectiveness of the treatment, a long-lasting and costly phase that, at times, tends to disrupt years of research. According to the PhRMA, last year, the US drug regulatory agency approved the commercialization of 55 new treatments or vaccines, among them, an experimental vaccine to prevent the disease caused by the Ebola virus.

R&D, also on the rise in Europe and Spain

As far as Europe is concerned, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (Efpia) estimates that in 2019 this sector will spend more than 37,500 million euros on R&D, 4.2% more than in 2018. In Spain, the pharmaceutical industry also leads investment in R&D, accounting for 19% of total spending by the entire industrial fabric of the country, according to the Spanish employers' association Farmaindustria.

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