The pharmaceutical industry and research in 2002 and beyond

Drug News Perspect. 2003 Dec;16(10):637-48. doi: 10.1358/dnp.2003.16.10.829294.


The success of the pharmaceutical industry will continue to depend on its ability to satisfy the clinical needs of established market economies. The number and quality of new drugs emerging from development pipelines seems likely to rise due to increased research and development budgets of the merged pharmaceutical companies, efficiencies across all facets of the development process, increasing use of new technologies and availability of new targets from the ongoing work on the role of human genes in disease pathways. In addition to the traditional small-molecule drugs, the market for protein products, including monoclonal antibodies and therapeutic vaccines, is likely to expand as advances in recombinant and formulation technologies are made. Current work on relatively newer fields of pharmaceutical research, such as novel G-protein-coupled receptors, chemokines/cytokines, integrins and control of cell cycle regulation and signal transduction pathways (kinases, phosphatases and transcription factors) will lead to new drugs over the next decade. It is tempting to argue that a progressive fall in the number of new drugs in the last decade of the 20th century reflects the end of an era as companies struggle to identify any remaining quality products using old-style drug hunting practices.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / economics
  • Biomedical Research / organization & administration
  • Biomedical Research / trends*
  • Drug Industry / economics
  • Drug Industry / organization & administration
  • Drug Industry / trends*
  • Drugs, Investigational / economics
  • Efficiency, Organizational / economics
  • Efficiency, Organizational / trends
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / economics
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / organization & administration
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / trends


  • Drugs, Investigational