At The New York Times Prescriptions blog, Duff Wilson says that outside business deals are keeping the pipelines of the major drug companies healthy, instead of internal research projects. According to a recent analysis from Fitch Ratings, the major drug makers are on pace to meet last year's level of 21 new drugs approved in the United States and Europe, but only thanks to acquisition and licensing deals. At the same time, 15 possible new drugs have had major problems, mostly with unfavorable results from clinical trials, Wilson says. Companies are, in fact, slashing spending on R&D, most notably Pfizer, which announced it's cutting its research budget by as much as $2.9 billion in the next two years. "In another analyst report with a broad view of the industry recently, Dr. Timothy Anderson of Bernstein Research looked at the prospects for nine major pharmaceutical companies to 2020," Wilson says. "His June 16 investor note found some companies with good long-term prospects from existing products, while others fall off the 'patent cliff' as generic competition is expected to pound their sales."
Not So Much 'R' and Not So Much 'D'
Jun 29, 2011