The costs of R&D have been a recurrent point of discussion in the continuing debate about the high prices of medicines. High costs and risks of R&D have been used to justify the high prices of cancer drugs. Attempts to quantify R&D costs for medicines have produced highly variable estimates. There is also a lack of information regarding the overall lifetime return on R&D investment, and its potential implications on access and innovation.
Dr. Kiu Tay-Teo will present a recently published paper that compared the cumulative sales incomes of cancer medicines approved by the US FDA between 1989 and 2017 with the estimated R&D costs reported in the literature. He will describe the methodology used and highlight the main findings, which include an estimation of the return on R&D investment and what it means from the perspective of patient access to medicines and future innovation. The study concluded that the observed returns for originator companies are far in excess of possible R&D costs. It argued that lowering prices of cancer medicines and facilitating greater competition are essential for improving patient access, health system’s financial sustainability, and future innovation.
Comparison of Sales Income and Research and Development Costs for FDA-Approved Cancer Drugs Sold by Originator Drug Companies (January 2019)
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This event is part of the webinar series of the Knowledge Network for Innovation and Access to Medicines, a project of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of Geneva. Suggestions for speakers and topics for future webinars are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.