Does Public Scientific Research Complement Private Investment in Research and Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry?
This paper analyzes how pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) investment responds to publicly supported biomedical research performed mainly at universities and nonprofit institutions. New microlevel data on investment, by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, allow measures of public basic and clinical research in seven medical classes to be included in a distributed lag model explaining pharmaceutical R&D investment. Using a panel of medical classes observed over 18 years, the analysis found strong evidence that public basic and clinical research are complementary to pharmaceutical R&D investment and thereby stimulate private-industry investment. However, differences in the relevance and degree of scientific and market uncertainty between basic and clinical research lead to differences in the magnitude and timing of the pharmaceutical investment response.
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