Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 9 (3), 203-14

How to Improve R&D Productivity: The Pharmaceutical Industry's Grand Challenge


How to Improve R&D Productivity: The Pharmaceutical Industry's Grand Challenge

Steven M Paul et al. Nat Rev Drug Discov.


The pharmaceutical industry is under growing pressure from a range of environmental issues, including major losses of revenue owing to patent expirations, increasingly cost-constrained healthcare systems and more demanding regulatory requirements. In our view, the key to tackling the challenges such issues pose to both the future viability of the pharmaceutical industry and advances in healthcare is to substantially increase the number and quality of innovative, cost-effective new medicines, without incurring unsustainable R&D costs. However, it is widely acknowledged that trends in industry R&D productivity have been moving in the opposite direction for a number of years. Here, we present a detailed analysis based on comprehensive, recent, industry-wide data to identify the relative contributions of each of the steps in the drug discovery and development process to overall R&D productivity. We then propose specific strategies that could have the most substantial impact in improving R&D productivity.

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 557 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Int J Health Care Finance Econ. 2005 Mar;5(1):47-73 - PubMed
    1. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Feb;81(2):164-9 - PubMed
    1. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2005 Jan;4(1):78-84 - PubMed
    1. J Clin Invest. 2006 Nov;116(11):2837-42 - PubMed
    1. Nat Genet. 2003 Jun;34(2):154-6 - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources