Excerpt from Lancet editorial, September 5, 2009
Posted by medconsumers on July 10, 2009
Dispelling myths about drug research
The widely held belief that US firms dominate drug research discovery compared with their European counterparts is challenged in a paper published online on Aug 25 by Health Affairs. Donald Light analysed data from a 2006 study by Henry Grabowski and Richard Wang, which examined the discovery of new drugs between 1982 and 1992 and between 1993 and 2003. Grabowski and Wang concluded that US firms had outshone European companies in terms of productivity. But when Light measured research productivity by comparing the percentage of research and development funding for the USA, Europe, and Japan with the proportion of new drugs discovered by each, he found that the USA discovered far fewer drugs than its proportional share of funding.