Pharmalot just published (via Forbes) an analysis of Big Pharma R&D spending for period 1997-2011. The data was provided by InnoThink Center For Research In Biomedical Innovation and Thomson Reuters Fundamentals via FactSet Research Systems.
From this, one could calculate the dollars spent on R&D/new drug approved for each company concerned. The link above provides a Table of the results for 12 Big Pharma (biotech). Amgen, it turns out spent the least at $3.7 B per new drug (11) approved during this period. AstraZeneca, it turns out spent the most at $11.8 B per new drug (5) approved during this period - OUCH! This coupled with products reaching the patent cliff helps explain why the latter is experiencing really tough times now and cut over 30,000 jobs during the period.
Even $3.7 B per drug at Amgen seems like an astronomical amount of money. It's no wonder the industry it trying to rethink its business and R&D model. Clearly something better change when you are spending$3.7 B to $11.8 B PER DRUG.
One can't help but think to some degree this "ranking" over the period has a little to do with luck as well given some of the vaguaries in the approval process and perhaps timing of some projects relative to submission dates in this period. I'm not certain you can state one company has any better development model than any other based on this data. You can say Amgen made out slightly better than its peers for the period -- but who's to say that will hold up over the next period? We're going to have to track some of these "new models" at companies like Novartis, GSK and Sanofi to see if they really see improvements.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Feb 10th 2012.
SEE some more commentary on this subject from In the Pipeline.