Where Drugs Come From: The Numbers
Derek Lowe has a very interesting post on Where Drugs Come From:
We can now answer the question: "Where do new drugs come from?". Well, we can answer it for the period from 1998 on, at any rate. A new paper in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery takes on all 252 drugs approved by the FDA from then through 2007, and traces each of them back to their origins. What's more, each drug is evaluated by how much unmet medical need it was addressed to and how scientifically innovative it was. Clearly, there's going to be room for some argument in any study of this sort, but I'm very glad to have it, nonetheless. Credit where credit's due: who's been discovering the most drugs, and who's been discovering the best ones?
Spoiler: Overall 58% of all new drugs come from the pharmaceutical companies. BUT, 53% of all drugs for unmet needs came from either biotech companies or universities and 56% of all truly novel drugs came from either biotech companies or universities.
My conclusion: all 3 sources are important parts of the drug innovation system and we shouldn't bash or diminish the importance of any of the 3 sources.