Each year, the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars on intensive research to discover new medicines for patients. Though the research process is long, uncertain, and expensive, the treatments that eventually result save lives and improve the health of people all around the world. Recent decades have seen enormous progress in the fight against major causes of death and disability, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and diabetes, as well as against numerous rare diseases. In addition, advances by companies in the biopharmaceutical sector play an important role in controlling costs of health care by reducing hospitalizations, surgeries, and other costly care.
Biopharmaceutical research and development is an investment in people, services, ideas and products.
This dynamic and innovative industry directly supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and indirectly supports millions more across the United States. The sector contributes significantly to the economy on the national, state, and local levels.
The 2012 Pharmaceutical Industry Profile explores the critical role that biopharmaceutical companies play in the lives of patients and in the U.S. economy. Chapter 1 describes recent advances in medicines and the value medicines bring to patients and the health care system. Chapter 2 discusses the positive economic impact of the industry and describes several key challenges facing the industry today. Chapter 3 describes major programs that ensure that people have access to the medicines they need.Chapter 4 explains the research and development (R&D) process and how the biopharmaceutical industry fits into the vibrant life sciences ecosystem. Through ongoing efforts to advance science and translate research findings into new medicines, biopharmaceutical companies bring value every day to patients, their families, and the entire economy.