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R&D Costs, Innovative Output and Firm Size in the Pharmaceutical Industry

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Author Info

  • Joseph A. Dimasi
  • Grabowski, Henry G.
  • Vernon, John

Abstract

This study examines the relationships between firm size, R&D costs and output in the pharmaceutical industry. Porject-level data from a survey of 12 US-owned pharmaceutical firms on drug development costs, development phase lengths and failure rates are used to determine estimates of the R&D cost of new drug development by firm size. Firms in the sampel are grouped into three size categories, according to their pharmaceutical sales at the beginning of the study period. The R&D cost per new drug approved in the US is shown to decrease with firm size, while sales per new drug approved are shown to increase markedly with firm size. Sales distributions are highly skewed and suggest that firms need to search for blockbuster drugs with above-average returns. The results are consistent with substantial economies of scale in pharmaceutical R&D, particularly at the discovery and preclinical development phases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 95-16.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Publication status: Published in INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE ECONOMICS OF BUSINESS, vol. 2, 1995, pages 201-219
Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:95-16

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Postal: Department of Economics Duke University 213 Social Sciences Building Box 90097 Durham, NC 27708-0097
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://econ.duke.edu/

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Cited by:
  1. Giuseppe Moscarini & Lones Smith, 1998. "Wald Revisited: The Optimal Level of Experimentation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1176, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Finn Valentin & Henrich Dahlgren & Rasmus Lund Jensen, 2006. "Research Strategies in Science-based Start-ups - Effects on performance in Danish and Swedish biotechnology," DRUID Working Papers 06-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  3. Schwartz, Eduardo S., 2002. "Patents and R& D as Real Options," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt86b1n43k, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.

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