Return on pharmaceutical R&D

Communiqué de presse

Return on pharmaceutical R&D on the rise but significant company variations remain

10 December 2014

  • 143 products launched globally since 2010, with projected lifetime revenues of $995 billion
  • 236 assets with forecast lifetime revenues of $1,171 billion progressed to late stage development, since 2010
  • Rate of return has increased for the first time since 2010, to 5.5%
  • Cost of bringing an asset to market rises for the fifth year, to $1,401 million

The rate of return on pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) is on the rise for the first time since 2010, according to a study by Deloitte. Since 2013, there has been an uplift in R&D returns, from 5.1% to 5.5%.

The study also finds that, since 2010, the top 12 pharmaceutical companies have launched 143 products, which continue to benefit patients across all therapy areas and have estimated total lifetime revenues of $955 billion. Over the same period, 236 assets have progressed through to late stage development, with forecast lifetime revenues of $1,171 billion.

Julian Remnant, head of Deloitte’s European R&D advisory practice, said: “There are signs that returns from pharmaceutical R&D are turning a corner. However, we continue to see a relentless rise in the costs to develop a new medicine - this year to $1,401 million - with little change to the billions of dollars of value lost from products failing in the final stage of development.

“While winners are emerging, the economic drivers of product development are complex and the study has identified wide variations at an individual company level.”

The report, Measuring the return from pharmaceutical innovation 2014, has been produced by Deloitte in collaboration with research and consulting firm, GlobalData. It is the latest annual analysis of the 12 largest life sciences companies by R&D spend.

The findings indicate that the following strategic factors may have an impact on R&D returns:

  • Company size – the larger the company, measured by revenue or R&D spend, the greater the cost to develop each asset and the lower the returns
  • External innovation–for 75% of the companies, less than half of the projected revenue is from compounds discovered in their own laboratories. Across all 12 companies, 58% of forecast revenues from innovation at the latest stage of development is sourced externally
  • Portfolio focus – an emphasis in the pipeline on fewer therapy areas appears to deliver better returns

Neil Lesser, Principal and Life Sciences R&D Strategy lead at Deloitte US, said: “The life sciences R&D ecosystem is undergoing a transformation and the industry’s biggest players are having to evaluate how they access, foster and commercialise their innovations. We have found that some of the top 12 organisations are further through the journey than others and, as a result, are delivering leading returns.

“The majority of the industry’s value is now coming from external sources of innovation, and these external assets are showing higher future forecasts than those from internal labs. Companies need to consider if they have invested in capabilities that make them “collaboration ready”, including the talent, processes, infrastructure, and data required to be able to collaborate effectively for the long term without eroding the value acquired.”

About Deloitte

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

About GlobalData

GlobalData is a leading global research and consulting firm offering advanced analytics to help clients make better, more informed decisions every day. The company’s research and analysis is based on the expert knowledge of over 700 qualified business analysts and 25,000 interviews conducted with industry insiders every year, enabling it to offer the most relevant, reliable and actionable strategic business intelligence available for a wide range of industries.

For more information, please contact GlobalData’s Press Office on +44 (0)1204 543 537 or at

Cela vous a-t-il été utile ?