December 21, 2017 Blogs

STAT: New ammo in the fight to lower prescription drug costs

December 21

A new government report shows that while global sales for the pharmaceutical industry have risen sharply in recent years, the amount drug companies spend on research and development for new discoveries has not kept pace.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who often collaborate on efforts to rein in Big Pharma, commissioned the report.

According to STAT’s Ed Silverman, it shows:

“From 2006 to 2015, global sales for the pharmaceutical industry, including biotech companies, jumped 45 percent to $775 billion. But from 2008 through 2014, worldwide R&D spending — most of which went to drug development, rather than basic scientific research — increased only 8.5 percent, to $89 billion.

“In short, while the industry was pocketing more money while prices were either rising dramatically for many existing medicines and high prices were set for new treatments, R&D funding increased only slightly, according to the report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.”

It’s unknown if this report will make a difference in the fight to lower drug prices. We do know it’s nice to have a well-stocked armory, full of human stories and the data to back us up.


Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.