In a recent paper by Yali Friedman of the BiotechBlog, Yali looks at the growth of research capabilities in emerging economies such as India and China. With a substantial increase in the outsourcing of some of the more routine activities involved in pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), such as compound synthesis and preclinical toxicity tests, a question is whether research-based companies are shifting the volume and value of innovative science research to emerging economies.
This paper focuses on the location of innovation in the pharmaceutical sector, particularly in the United States as the world’s largest pharmaceutical market, comprising roughly 40% of the world’s pharmaceutical revenues. There were 1,400 first-year patents granted to drugs approved between 2001 and 2009.
Inventorship of these patents was concentrated in a small number of countries: 60% of inventors were from the United States, and 31.5% of inventors were from just seven other countries (United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Sweden, France, Switzerland and Belgium).
So far, the emerging markets of India and China but the substantial time lag — often ~10 years or more between the initial discovery of a potential drug and its market approval — and the recent nature of the increase in investment in innovative research in such countries, this observation is not unexpected.
Read the results here: Location of pharmaceutical innovation – 2000-2009