Pharmaceutical industry - number of new substances 1992-2018

Between 2014 and 2018, American companies introduced a total of 125 new chemical or biological substances. Within the same period, Europe and Japan produced 67 and 34 new entities, respectively.

Total R&D spending

In 2018, the global pharmaceutical industry spent roughly 180 billion U.S. dollars on research and development. Global pharmaceutical R&D expenditures have been increasing with each consecutive year since 2012 and are expected to keep growing: worldwide R&D spending is projected to reach over 210 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.

Patent expiration

Once the patent protection date of a branded drug expires, other pharmaceutical companies can take this opportunity to make cheaper versions of the original (a.k.a. generics). In 2018, about forty billion U.S. dollars’ worth of prescription drug revenue was at risk due to patent expiration worldwide. In that same year, some 380 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of revenue was generated through branded prescription medication in the U.S., while an estimated total of around 102 billion U.S. dollars was earned through branded and unbranded generics.

Number of new chemical or biological entities developed between 1992 and 2018, by region of origin

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Release date




Survey time period

1997 to 2018

Supplementary notes

EFPIA stands for the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.
This statistic was assembled from several editions of this report.

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