Pharma Spends Much More On Marketing Than On R&D

  • January 4, 2008
The pharmaceutical industry spends almost twice as much on the marketing and promotion of drugs than on research and development, according to a new analysis of data from two market research companies, IMS and CAM.

The analysis by the Public Library of Science Medicine shows that U.S. drug companies spent $57.5 billion on promotional activities in 2004, the latest year for which figures were available. In comparison, the National Science Foundation reported that in 2004 the amount of industrial pharmaceutical research and development (including public funds for industrial research and development) was $31.5 billion in the United States.

Promotional activities include free samples, visits from drug reps ("detailers"), direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs, meetings with doctors to promote products, e-mail promotions, direct mail, and clinical trials designed to promote the prescription of new drugs rather than to generate scientific data (these are known as "seeding trials").

--Tanya Irwin



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