Keynote review: Is declining innovation in the pharmaceutical industry a myth?

Drug Discov Today. 2005 Aug 1;10(15):1031-9. doi: 10.1016/S1359-6446(05)03524-5.


Increasing the rate of innovation is a requirement to achieve much-needed advances in patient care, as well as to secure the future of the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, there is a perception in the external environment that pharmaceutical R&D is no longer innovative, fails to bring new drugs to market or, at best, produces a rising number of 'me-too' drugs with no advantage over existing treatments. In addition, the cost to discover and develop new medicines (i.e. cost per launch) has risen dramatically in recent years. The quoted development cost per medicine is a reality, and is not disputed here. However, data are provided that demonstrate that with regard to innovation rates, the current perception is wrong - although there have been, and continue to be, fluctuations in drug launches, there has been a steady increase in the number of new chemical entities launched, both in absolute numbers of FDA-approved medicines and in the proportion of priority reviews.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Device Approval
  • Drug Industry / trends*
  • Efficiency
  • Legislation, Drug
  • Research
  • United States