[Ip-health] The WifOR report on R&D

James Love james.love at keionline.org
Thu Jul 12 05:37:58 PDT 2018

WifOR's 88 age report, presented by IFPMA yesterday at WIPO, on public and
private sector R&D outlays is here:


The report can be seen has a set of industry talking points, and covers
several topics. I'll just touch on a few quick points here.

WifOR claims $171.6 billion in 2014 global pharmaceutical R&D spending.
PhRMA members claimed $53.25b in 2014, and it is not obvious how WifOR gets
to $171.6b, although it seems as though WifOR relied a lot of OECD R&D

WifOR puts R&D performed (but not necessarily funded) by industry at 71.1
percent of the total, or $122b in 2014, which would be 2.3x the PhRMA
members survey figure of 53.25.  This seems unlikely high.

If PhRMA is exaggerating its R&D outlays, and they have every incentive to
do so, WifOR is far more aggressive.

In any event, 2014, if WifOR's estimates of industry R&D is taken a face
value, PhRMA member R&D for 2014, as measured by PhRMA's own survey, was
just 31 percent of global R&D on new drugs and vaccines.

WifOR claims industry funds 26.2 percent of "basic" research.

WifOR also estimates 388,000 employees are directly working in industrial
pharmaceutical R&D, and 5.2 million employees were supported by industrial
pharmaceutical R&D globally, two numbers you will probably hear again, but
also seem high, starting with the 388k number. Employment in R&D activities
for most big pharma companies is typically a pretty small fraction of the
work force.

These are the BLS figures for US employment in NAICS 325400 -
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing.  Total employment was 287,550,
for all occupations and functions.


19-1020 Biological Scientists: 8,790
19-1040 Medical Scientists: 6,550
19-2000 Physical Scientists, including Chemists: 16,890

James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile:
+41.76.413.6584, twitter.com/jamie_love

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