Research and Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Research and Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Every year, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry develops a variety of new drugs that provide valuable medical benefits. Many of those drugs are expensive and contribute to rising health care costs for the private sector and the federal government. Policymakers have considered policies that would lower drug prices and reduce federal drug expenditures. Such policies would probably reduce the industry’s incentive to develop new drugs. In this report, the Congressional Budget Office assesses trends in spending for drug research and development (R&D) and the introduction of new drugs. CBO also examines factors that determine how much drug companies spend on R&D: expected global revenues from a new drug; cost to develop a new drug; and federal policies that affect the demand for drug therapies, the supply of new drugs, or both.

David Austin and Tamara Hayford

Congressional Budget Office

April 2021

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By |2021-04-21T14:38:17-07:00January 1st, 2018|Efficiency/Growth, Intellectual Property, Patents, Reference|