An analysis of global biomedical research and development trends published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week found that the balance of R&D investment is shifting toward Asia.
As The Economist notes, spending is shifting away from Europe and North America to Asia. In China, the R&D funds have increased some 33 percent a year between 2007 and 2012, and in Japan, funding increased about 6 percent a year in that timeframe. Meanwhile, the US is cutting back on the expenditures.
But more disquieting, The Economist says, is that total global R&D spending is slowing. It notes that as drug development is a slow process, the true effect of such a decline may not be fully felt for a few years.
"American regulators approved 27 new drugs in 2013, and 39 in 2012, a number not seen since 1996," it says. "In ten years’ time the present day may seem like a golden age."