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14 Aug 2012

Drug Research Innovation Crisis 'Is A Myth'

An analytical article in the BMJ has dismissed claims of an innovation crisis in pharmaceutical R&D.

Claims that the pipeline for new drugs is on the brink of running dry are a myth, experts have argued.


Writing in the British Medical Journal, Donald Light from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Joel Lexchin from Toronto's York University cite a number of articles and reports on the supposed R&D crisis since the early 2000s.


But they say that the number of new drugs licensed has remained stable, at between 15 and 25 per year.


The authors suggest that warnings of an innovation crisis act as "a ploy to attract a range of government protections from free market competition".


They say that many companies are being rewarded for developing large numbers of new drugs that provide few clinical advantages over existing ones, with up to 90 per cent of all new drugs over the past 50 years providing limited benefits and considerable harms to patients.



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