Drug discovery in pharmaceutical industry: productivity challenges and trends

Drug Discov Today. 2012 Oct;17(19-20):1088-102. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2012.05.007. Epub 2012 May 22.


Low productivity, rising R&D costs, dissipating proprietary products and dwindling pipelines are driving the pharmaceutical industry to unprecedented challenges and scrutiny. In this article I reflect on the current status of the pharmaceutical industry and reasons for continued low productivity. An emerging 'symbiotic model of innovation', that addresses underlying issues in drug failure and attempts to narrow gaps in current drug discovery processes, is discussed to boost productivity. The model emphasizes partnerships in innovation to deliver quality products in a cost-effective system. I also discuss diverse options to build a balanced research portfolio with higher potential for persistent delivery of drug molecules.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Drug Industry / trends*
  • Efficiency
  • Humans