U.S. Continues to Lead New Drug R&D, but Asia-Pacific is Starting to Rise, According to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development

BOSTON, Jan. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Recent launches of new active substances (NAS) and a strong R&D pipeline indicate that recent global drug development not only has been robust, but also is poised for even stronger growth over the coming decade, according to a study recently completed by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

"The global outlook for drug development is as strong—and perhaps stronger—than ever, and while the U.S. continues to be the world leader, as measured by the number of patent awards, clinical trials, and product launches, the landscape is changing," said Christopher-Paul Milne, research associate professor and director of research at Tufts CSDD at Tufts University School of Medicine, who conducted the analysis.

He added, "As populations outside the U.S., Europe, and Japan become more affluent, and as demand for specific therapies shifts, new and emerging developers will step in to serve those growing markets."

China, India, and South Korea, which have focused heavily on vaccine development to date, are becoming ever more important players in global R&D, Milne noted, while the lack of significant development infrastructure, among other factors, has stymied NAS development elsewhere.

"Countries with large populations, such as Indonesia and Mexico, will be prime markets for new drugs, but the outlook for increased NAS development there is weak due, in part, to relatively low shares of GDP spent on healthcare and regional competitors," said Milne.

The analysis, summarized in the January/February Tufts CSDD Impact Report, released today, also found that:

  • Annual NAS output during 2013-17 averaged 49, ranging from 40 to 60, substantially more than the average of 32 per year during 2000-09.
  • The U.S. share of first launches worldwide remained dominant at 60%-65% during 2013-17, having increased steadily from a low of 45% in 2010.
  • Oncology, diabetes, and orphan drugs accounted for 46% of NAS launches worldwide during 2013-17, indicating that nearly half of all new drug approvals globally addressed a limited set of public health threats.
  • During the last year, the number of Chinese firms developing NAS jumped 20%, from 219 to 262.


The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (http://csdd.tufts.edu) at Tufts University provides strategic information to help drug developers, regulators, and policy makers improve the quality and efficiency of pharmaceutical development, review, and utilization. Tufts CSDD, based in Boston, conducts a wide range of in-depth analyses on pharmaceutical issues and hosts symposia, workshops, and public forums, and publishes Tufts CSDD Impact Reports, a bi-monthly newsletter providing analysis and insight into critical drug development issues.


Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development
Geraldin Batista – 617-636-0840