Codes & Guidelines

Key Industry and PhRMA Facts

Reporter's Handbook

PhRMA April 6, 2013

Research and Development (R&D)
Average time to develop a drug = More than 10 years

Development CostsAverage cost to develop a drug
(including the cost of failures)
2000s-early 2010s = $2.6 billion
1990s-early 2000s = $1.0 billion
1980s = $413 million
1970s = $179 million

R&D Spending by PhRMA Members
Year | PhRMA Member Spending
2015 $58.8 billion
2014 $51.2 billion
2013 $51.6 billion
2012 $49.6 billion
2011 $48.6 billion
2010 $50.7 billion
2009 $46.4 billion
2008 $47.4 billion
2007 $47.9 billion
2006 $43.0 billion
2005 $39.9 billion
2000 $26.0 billion
1990 $8.4 billion
1980 $2.0 billion

Percentage of Sales That Went to R&D in 2013
Domestic R&D as a percentage of domestic sales = 23.4%
Total R&D as a percentage of total sales = 17.9%

Economic Impact of the Biopharmaceutical Sector
Direct jobs = More than 854,000
Total jobs = About 4.4 million (including indirect and induced jobs, most recent data)


  • Medicines approved 2014 = 51
  • Medicines approved since 2000 = more than 500
  • In the 30 years since the Orphan Drug Act was established, more than 500 orphan drugs have been approved, with more than 230 approved in the last decade alone.
  • Only 2 of 10 marketed drugs return revenues that match or exceed R&D costs.

Medicines in Development

  • Medicines in development around the world = 7,000
  • Potential first-in-class medicines in clinical development globally = 70%
  • Medicines in development to treat rare disease = More than 450

Value of Medicines

  • Cancer: Since peaking in the 1990s, cancer death rates have declined nearly 22%. Approximately 83% of survival gains in cancer are attributable to new treatments, including medicines.
  • Hepatitis C: Five years ago, treatment options available for hepatitis C cured just 41% of patients with the most common type of the disease, but with debilitating side effects. Today, a range of treatment options are available to patients offering cure rates upwards of 90%, with few side effects, in as few as 8 weeks.
  • HIV/AIDS: Since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) in 1995, the HIV/AIDS death rate has dropped nearly 85%. As a result of HAART and all the medical innovations that followed, it is estimated that 862,000 premature deaths were avoided in the United States alone.

Generic share of market
2000: 49%
2013: 88%

About PhRMA
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America represents the country’s leading biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. 
PhRMA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and also has offices in Albany, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, Olympia, St. Paul, Sacramento, Amman and Tokyo.
There are two categories of membership in PhRMA:

A corporation, subsidiary or division of a company with operations in the United States that is predominantly engaged in the research, manufacturing and marketing of innovative finished dosage prescription pharmaceutical or biological medicines.

Associates shall be persons, partnerships, corporations, or subsidiaries, divisions or units thereof, not eligible for membership as defined above, and not subsidiaries or divisions of or owned by a company engaged in the manufacture or marketing of finished dosage form pharmaceutical or biological products, who are:

Engaged in research and development (significantly engaged, for profit, in biological research on their own behalf directly related to the development or production of ethical pharmaceutical or biological products for the cure, alleviation, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease).