Numbers: Drugs, From Development to Testing to Marketing to Drinking Water

By Jeremy Jacquot|Thursday, May 28, 2009

$228.5 BILLION  Sales of brand-name pharmaceuticals in the U.S. in 2008, according to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association’s industry report.

69  Percentage of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. for generic drugs. Generics account for 16 percent of total prescription spending.

10-15  Typical number of years needed to develop a new drug, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. A 2007 study estimates the cost to develop a new medicine at $1.3 billion (in 2005 dollars).

21  Number of completely novel drugs (“new molecular entities”) approved by the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in 2008. Sixteen were approved in 2007, a year when 2,742 new drug compounds were under development in the U.S.

$73.9 BILLION  Average amount spent yearly on “marketing and administration” by 10 major pharmaceutical firms from 1996 through 2005, according to a report from the University of Quebec at Montreal. During that same decade, these drugmakers spent an average of $28.8 billion annually on R&D, while direct-to-consumer advertising more than tripled.

12.6  Average number of retail prescriptions per capita in the U.S. in 2007, according to calculations by the Kaiser Family Foundation, up from 8.9 a decade earlier.

46 million  Number of Americans whose drinking water supplies are known to contain at least trace amounts of pharmaceuticals, according to an Associated Press investigation released last year.

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