February 19, 2018

Public funding of succesful Pharma R&D

Contribution of NIH funding to new drug approvals 2010–2016

If we consider the 210 new molecular entities (NMEs) approved by the Food and Drug Administration from 2010–2016, then you'll find that NIH funding contributed to published research associated with every one. A PNAS article explains that:
Collectively, this research involved 200,000 years of grant funding totaling more than $100 billion. The analysis shows that 90% of this funding represents basic research related to the biological targets for drug action rather than the drugs themselves. The role of NIH funding thus complements industry research and development, which focuses predominantly on applied research. This work underscores the breath and significance
of public investment in the development of new therapeutics and the risk that reduced research funding would slow the pipeline for treating morbid disease.
This public funding is forgotten in the costs of a new molecule. Although in the price, the manufacturer surplus doesn't remunerate such contribution. Some adjustment should be applied, to be fair.