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Report  | November 2020

Will US Leadership in Biopharmaceutical R&D Continue?

By Nam D. Pham, Ph.D. and Mary Donovan

Innovation most successfully occurs in regions around the world that allow inventors to operate in a public policy framework that rewards risk taking and investment. This is especially so for the biopharmaceutical industry. Because of the high risk, high cost, and long research timelines associated with biopharmaceutical development, innovative manufacturers tend to conduct R&D in countries with supportive public policies that promote a skilled workforce, efficient regulatory system, foster competition, and let the market and the value of medicines drive pricing and access. This report examines the movement in the balance of R&D investment from Europe to the U.S. in the late 1990s and the rise of Asia as a biopharmaceutical innovation center very recently.