U.S. biopharmaceutical export volume 2002-2018

The export value of goods from the biopharmaceutical industry in the United States was estimated to be 54.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. The export value of biopharmaceutical goods increased threefold in the period between 2002 and 2018.

The challenges of the biopharmaceutical industry

As of April 2019, approximately 4,500 biopharmaceutical medicines were in development in the United States, with around 1,120 being developed to treat the forms of cancer. The cost of developing a medicinal product has grown in recent decades, resulting in annual increases in the combined research and development costs of companies based in the United States. One reason for the rising costs is that clinical trials have become more complex: the number of data points collected during a typical latter-phase clinical trial increased significantly between 2005 and 2015.

What are the differences between pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals?

The pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries both manufacture products that treat and prevent medical conditions, but the method by which the products are created varies between the two. One of the main distinctions is that pharmaceuticals are inherently chemical-based products made using chemical methods, whereas biopharmaceuticals are made from living organisms using biological processes. Today, most of the big pharmaceutical companies manufacture both pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals.

U.S. biopharmaceutical goods export volume from 2002 to 2018

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Release date

July 2019


United States

Survey time period

2002 to 2018

Supplementary notes

This statistic was assembled from several editions of the PhRMA Chart Pack.
* Estimated.

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