Facts about Pharamaceutical Companies
Today I was just completing some random readings and I found a very interesting powerpoint on the Doctors Reform Society website by Dr Tracy Schrader called Future of the PBS in the Global Market (2003). Very interesting read but what I found very interesting was some facts that she had quoted about the pharmaceutical industry – revenue, profits and how they choose to use their influence. I know it is a few years old … but it is worth reading. I would also definitely recommending reading the whole presentation. Very insightful
US pharmaceutical industry has been described as the largest lobby group, the most profitable industry & the most generous campaign contributor in the world
- companies are not especially large in terms of revenues, but are very profitable
- one of the biggest spenders in lobbying government
- lightly taxed & heavily subsidised
Baker, B.K., PhRMA’s Relentless Drive for Profits Explains US Trade Negotiations., inHealth GAP, 10 December. 2002.
- 2001 Pfizer – 127th in the world for total revenue, 7thin terms of profit & the 18th largest market entity,bigger than many countries, including South Africa & South Korea
- every year since 1982, the pharmaceutical industry has been the most profitable in the US
- returns on revenue (profit as % sales) have averaged about 3 times the average for all other industries represented in the Global Fortune 500
- top Global Fortune 500 industry sectors’ average profit margin 2.4%, pharmaceuticals industry 16% in 2001
Henry, D. and J. Lexchin, The pharmaceutical industry as a medicines provider. The Lancet,2002. 360(9345): p. 1590-1595.
Global 500, Top performing companies and industries, top companies: highest profits. 2002, Fortune Magazine http://www.fortune.com/lists/6500/g500_topperf-co-highprofit.html.
Research & Development (R&D)
- pharmaceutical industry spends significantly more on marketing, advertising & administration than on R&D
A report by Families USA of nine US drug companies that market the top 50 drugs prescribed to seniors found:
- in 2001 profits exceeded R&D spending for six of the nine
- all nine companies spent considerably more on marketing, advertising, & administration than R&D
- no company spent as much as 20% of revenue on R&D, whereas every company except Merck spent > 20% of revenue on marketing, advertising & administration
- Pfizer allocated 35% of revenue to marketing, advertising, & administration, 15% on R&D with 24% Profit (Net Income)
- Merck & Co allocated 13% of revenue to marketing, advertising, & administration, 5% on R&D with 15% Profit (Net Income)
- Pharmacia Corporation allocated 44% of revenue to marketing, advertising, & administration, 16% on R&D with 11% Profit (Net Income)
Mahan, D., Profiting from Pain: Where Prescription Drug Dollars Go. 2002, Families USA Foundation: Washington DC.
- average cost of R&D for an innovative drug estimated tobe approx. US $400 million over 8 to 12 years
- annual revenues at least US $1 billion for up to 20 years
- most new drugs on the market are replacements for cheaper generic versions
- A report in US from the National Institute for Health CareManagement found that relatively few of the new drugs approved during 1989 to 2000 were highly innovative
- modified versions of older medications ( ‘me-too’ drugs)were becoming increasingly dominant
Inouye, B., Unpacking the Pharma Biotech Engines: How the leading pharmaceutical corporations are driving the biotech agenda. 2002, Polaris Institute: Ottawa.
NIHCM, Changing Patterns of Pharmaceutical Innovation. 2002, National Institute for HealthCare Management: Washington, DC.
- major part of drug R&D & an even larger portion of truly innovative R&D is due to government subsidisation
- due to favourable tax treatment &/or direct government investment in research
Arno, P.S. and M.H. Davis, Why don’t we enforce existing drug price controls?, in Tulane Law Review. 2001, Social Science research Network Electronic Library.
- around 3/4 of final pharmaceutical expenditure is publicly reimbursed in the majority of OECD countries
Jacobzone, S., Pharmaceutical Policies in OECD Countries: Reconciling social and industrial goals. 2000, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Paris.
- a US internal National Institutes of Health study found taxpayer-funded scientists & O/S universities conducted85% of published research studies, tests & trials leading to the discovery & development of five innovative drugs
NIH, NIH Contribution to Pharmaceutical Development. 2000, Administrative Document,National Institutes of Health (NIH): Bethesda, Maryland.
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA):
- powerful trade association representing US pharmaceutical manufacturers & subsidiaries
- biggest pharmaceutical industry lobby group in the US
- national association representing the prescriptionAustralian medicines industry
- represents over 90% of the prescription market in Australia
- 1999-2000 election campaign in the US, pharmaceuticalcorporations spent over US $177 million on lobbying
- greater than the expenditures of the oil & gas, tobacco,automobile & food processing corporations combined
Inouye, B., Unpacking the Pharma Biotech Engines: How the leading pharmaceuticalcorporations are driving the biotech agenda. 2002, Polaris Institute: Ottawa.
Tax & subsidies
- low tax levels due to tax credits – effective tax rate isabout 40% less than the average for all otherindustries in US
- research subsidies
- patent extensions
Young, B. and M. Surrusco, RX R&D Myths: The Case Against the Drug Industry’s ‘R&DScare Card’. 2001, Congress Watch, Public Citizen: Washington DC