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Biopharmaceutical R&D spending reaches a record $55.2 billion

America's pharmaceutical and biotechnology research companies set a new record for biopharmaceutical research spending last year with an investment of $55.2 billion to develop new medicines and vaccines, according to a new study. <

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America's pharmaceutical and biotechnology research companies set a new record for biopharmaceutical research spending last year with an investment of $55.2 billion to develop new medicines and vaccines, according to a new study.

The amount is $3.4 billion higher than the previous record of $51.8 billion spent by U.S. companies in 2005.

The PhRMA and Burrill & Company survey of its member companies shows that they spent an estimated $43 billion - or almost 80 percent of the total spent by the nation's biopharmaceutical companies in 2006 -- on research and development of new treatments for a wide array of medical conditions. Last year's PhRMA research spending, a new record for its members, was $3.1 billion higher than the previous PhRMA record of $39.9 billion spent on R&D in 2005.

The Burrill & Company analysis shows that non-PhRMA biopharmaceutical research companies in the United States spent an estimated $12.2 billion on R&D last year. The research spending of all of America's biopharmaceutical companies is much higher than the amount spent on biomedical research by the National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical research companies in other countries.

"Once again, America's biopharmaceutical companies lead the world in investing in the search for new treatments and cures," said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin. "Well over half of the world's new medicines are developed by our country's innovative companies and we are proud of their commitment to helping patients fight a wide range of diseases and medical conditions. This year's increased investment continues more than 25 years of strong growth in R&D spending as our scientists and bench researchers continue the hunt for better treatments for cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and many other medical conditions."

Last year's increase in biopharmaceutical research funding occurred as company scientists continue to step up their attack against some of the more complex diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurological disorders. "As we address these more complex conditions, our scientists find themselves spending more time and money on basic research to develop important new medicines," Tauzin said. "Biopharmaceutical research companies are also working on new techniques and technologies that could lead to the development of safer and more effective drugs."

Source: PHRMA.org