Economics Healthcare

How much does it cost to develop a drug?

The average cost of getting a new drug to market is $1.3 billion.

Between 2009 and 2018, the estimated median capitalized research and development cost per product was $985 million, counting expenditures on failed trials.

The cost of development began to explode in 1962 when the FDA was granted the power to prevent new drugs from ever being sold. This also coincided with a sudden slowing in the growth of life expectancy.
There was also a significant decline in the number of new treatments approved following the


  1. Crossing-over-the-Valley-of-Death-The-distinct-stages-of-drug-development
  2. JAMA
  3. Google Spreadsheet of FDA Spending vs Life-Expectancy
  4. Summary of NDA Approvals & Receipts, 1938 to the present
  5. Theory, Evidence and Examples of FDA Harm
  6. DATA
  7. GDP
  8. Reform, Regulation, and Pharmaceuticals — The Kefauver–Harris Amendments at 50
  9. Consumer Price Index
  10. Estimates of World GDP, One Million B.C. – Present
  11. Newspaper Generator
  12. Report suggests drug-approval rate now just 1-in-10
  13. How many people die and how many are born each year?
  14. Gross World Product per capita
  15. History of Clinical Trials
  16. How many life-years have new drugs saved?
  17. CATO
  18. Medical Innovation
  19. Timeline History of Clinical Research