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.

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