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Research is less profitable for the pharmaceutical industry

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According to a Deloitte study, investing in research is less and less interesting. The audit and consulting firm used figures from the world’s 20 largest pharmaceutical companies, including the Swiss companies Novartis and Roche.


In 2022, the world’s twenty largest pharmaceutical companies spent 130 billion francs on research and development. This sum has fallen by 2% compared to 2021, according to Deloitte estimates.

The return on investment has also fallen. It fell from 7% to 1.2% in one year. This is the lowest figure since 2010, the year of the first study conducted by Deloitte.

  • In 2022, the world’s 20 largest pharmaceutical companies together spent $139 billion on research and development, down 2% from 2021.
  • The projected average return on investment (ROI) in research and development for 2022 fell to 1.2%, the lowest value recorded since the study began in 2010.
  • The average development time for new drugs (from initiation of clinical studies to approval) increased from 6.9 years in 2021 to 7.1 years in 2022. This is the second-longest time since the study began.
  • As a result of longer development times, the average development costs of a new drug increased by $298 million in 2022 to $2.3 billion.
  • The share of forecasted sales of active substances from cooperation between different companies has more than halved from 46% in 2021 to only 18% in 2022.


Read the full study: « Seize the digital momentum – Measuring the return from pharmaceutical innovation 2022 »