Sources of innovation for new medicines: questions of sustainability

Michael S. Kinch, Zachary Kraft, Tyler Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The biopharmaceutical industry has undergone remarkable changes over the past half century, driven largely by a need to offset the ever-rising costs of developing new medicines. In this report, we aggregated information about the creation and fate of all clinical-stage biopharmaceutical companies, assessing trends over time. These results reveal that the rate of new company formation has been declining at the same time that industry consolidation has been accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Consequently, the number of companies involved in biopharmaceutical research and development has declined by one-third over the past decade, while those able to achieve at least one FDA approval has dropped by more than half. These findings raise important questions about the sustainability of an industry that is vital for both public and economic health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


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