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Price of drugs boosts US market


Lack of price controls on drugs in the US has helped make it the preferred location to launch new treatments, according to the Tufts Centre for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD).

Director Kenneth Kaitin said: “The United States has become the country of choice due to the size of the market, the positive environment for innovation and the lack of price controls. Because many countries limit the prices that drug companies can charge, they turn to the US.”

He said that a decline in new drug approvals reflects the increasingly time-consuming, risky and expensive nature of drug development. This is linked to a focus on developing new medicines to treat chronic and complex diseases.

The study found that new US drug approvals dropped to 48 in 2005–07 from a peak of 110 in 1996–98.

During 2005–07, drugs first marketed in the US accounted for 75% of all new drugs approved worldwide, an all-time high. In 1987–89, only 20% of new drugs were first marketed in the US.

The Tufts CSDD analysis, reported in the November/December Tufts CSDD Impact Report, also found that combined clinical and approval times for new drugs developed in the US have dropped to the lowest level since the late 1990s.

Copyright Press Association 2008

Tufts CSDD

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