Growing the pipeline, growing the bottom line: Shifts in pharmaceutical R&D innovation

Growing the pipeline, growing the bottom line

In recent years, the average number of annual US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for new molecular entities – a good indicator of innovation – has risen from 23 to 32. But is this enough to suggest a breakthrough in drug development?


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Doctors examining medical reports

KPMG’s new report Growing the pipeline, growing the bottom line: Shifts in pharmaceutical R&D innovation looks at the research challenge through the eyes of senior R&D executives from some of the world’s leading pharma companies. Their responses suggest:

  • pharmaceutical R&D innovation is on the rise, with 70 percent of respondents believing their companies are enjoying a resurgence in research productivity
  • organizational barriers to R&D innovation persist: 72 percent of respondents claim that excessive administrative work prevents scientists from devoting time to research
  • pharmaceutical R&D outsourcing and collaboration is set to continue, with an increasing proportion of research budgets now spent externally.

The report recommends five ways to enhance R&D innovation in future:

  • Balance governance and administrative burdens with project size and complexity, giving scientists space to engage in R&D.
  • Strengthen collaboration and alliances – particularly with universities – and adapt R&D to support innovation across networks.
  • Align Commercial, Finance and R&D operations to more rigorously challenge research objectives and focus on the return on investment (ROI).
  • Bring the customer and patient to the heart of R&D; assessing the value of a project in terms of outcomes and improved quality of life.
  • Develop an environment that attracts and retains world-class scientists.

© 2017 KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. All rights reserved.

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