Progress toward New Medicines

The biopharmaceutical industry utilizes its scientific and industrial expertise to build on and advance basic science research into safe and effective treatments that can be made available to patients. The biopharmaceutical industry is uniquely positioned to take on the necessary risk to advance research into safe and effective treatments. For example: 

  • On average, it takes 10-15 years and costs $2.6 billion to develop one new medicine, including the cost of the many failures.
  • Only 12% of new molecular entities that enter clinical trials eventually receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. 
  • Approximately 7,000 rare diseases exist today yet only 5% have an available treatment.
  • PhRMA member companies invested a record-setting $79.6 billion in research and development (R&D) according to the 2019 PhRMA member annual survey. 


    Committed to Research

    PhRMA and its members are committed to the development of new treatments and cures. All of PhRMA’s member companies meet the following criteria:

    • A three-year average global R&D to global sales ratio of 10% or greater; and
    • A three-year average global R&D spending of at least $200 million per year.

    PhRMA member companies have invested more than half a trillion dollars in R&D since 2000, establishing the biopharmaceutical sector as the most R&D-intensive industry in the U.S. economy. In fact, the biopharmaceutical industry invests on average six times more in R&D as a percentage of sales than all other manufacturing industries.

    Through investment in R&D, biopharmaceutical researchers and scientists have gained a better understanding of diseases and a greater ability to harness new scientific advances, leading to tremendous progress in the development of treatments and cures for some of the most debilitating diseases patients face.