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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph A. Dimasi & Grabowski, Henry G. & Vernon, John, 1995. "R&D Costs, Innovative Output and Firm Size in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Working Papers 95-16, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:95-16
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Burak Dindaroglu, 2011. "R&D Productivity and Firm Size in Semiconductors and Pharmaceuticals: Evidence from Citation Yields," Working Papers 1101, Izmir University of Economics.
    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. 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.
    4. Martin Backfisch, 2017. "Have Pharmaceutical R&D Project Success Rates Decreased? A Critical Review and New Empirical Results," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201746, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    5. 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.
    6. Fossett, Sarah J. & Wunnava, Phanindra V., 2017. "Active Ingredients: Exploring the Key Factors Affecting the Rising Cost of Developing New Drugs," IZA Discussion Papers 10817, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Richard T. Thakor & Andrew W. Lo, 2015. "Competition and R&D Financing Decisions: Theory and Evidence from the Biopharmaceutical Industry," NBER Working Papers 20903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Mc Namara, Peter & Baden-Fuller, Charles, 2007. "Shareholder returns and the exploration-exploitation dilemma: R&D announcements by biotechnology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 548-565, May.
    9. David J. Ravenscraft & William F. Long, 2000. "Paths to Creating Value in Pharmaceutical Mergers," NBER Chapters,in: Mergers and Productivity, pages 287-326 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. José Lejarraga & Ester Martínez-Ros, 2010. "Revisiting the Size-R&D Productivity Relation: Introducing the Mediating Role of Decision-Making Style on the Scale and Quality of Innovative Output," Working Papers 1006, Departament Empresa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, revised Mar 2010.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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