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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the key characteristics of the biopharmaceutical industry. The biopharmaceutical industry is unusually research intensive. The US research-based biopharmaceutical industry invests about 15 percent of its sales in research and development (R&D), compared with about 4 percent for US industry in general. The R&D cost of bringing a new compound to market is estimated to be greater than $1 billion. This research intensity underlies many of the unique features of this industry. Two key policy issues are briefly considered: whether and how governments should support and regulate R&D with the goal of generating the optimal amount and types of R&D spending; and how government should regulate the market access, prices, and promotion of biopharmaceuticals. An overview of the structure and contents of this book is also provided.

Keywords: biopharmaceutical industry, R&D, regulation, spending, market access, prices, promotion

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