What are the 5-10 most interesting facts about the pharmaceuticals industry?

of one

What are the 5-10 most interesting facts about the pharmaceuticals industry?

Hello! Thank you for asking Wonder to find the 5-10 most interesting facts about the pharmaceuticals industry.

The short version is that there is quite an abundance of interesting facts about the pharmaceuticals industry. However, I discovered 15 mind-blowing facts for you to choose from for your purposes. Some facts came from the same sources, so I expanded your list.
Below you will find a deep dive of my research and the amazing facts I was able to dig up for you. You'll find a link number for the source of each fact, which is located in the resources section.

I personally loved researching this because I learned a lot of interesting facts about the pharmaceuticals industry that I didn't know before.

Let's get started!

"The pharmacy profession can be traced back at least as far as the Sumerian population, living in modern day Iraq. From around 4000 BC, they used medicinal plants such as liquorice, mustard, myrrh, and opium. The Sumerians wrote the earliest surviving prescriptions from at least 2700 B.C. – so nearly 5000 years ago." (Link 1)

"One of the first drugs to come into common usage, aspirin is still one of the most researched drugs in the world, with an estimated 700 to 1,000 clinical trials conducted each year." (Link 2)

"The global pharmaceuticals market is worth US$300 billion a year, a figure expected to rise to US$400 billion within three years. The 10 largest drugs companies control over one-third of this market, several with sales of more than US$10 billion a year and profit margins of about 30%." (Link 3)

"Companies currently spend one-third of all sales revenue on marketing their products - roughly twice what they spend on research and development." (Link 3)

"For the first time in history global pharmaceutical spending crossed the $1 trillion plateau in 2014. Think about that for a moment: $1 trillion equates to 1.3% of global GDP, and is higher than the cumulative annual GDP of all but 15 countries around the world." (Link 4)

The top 5 most expensive drugs in the world: (Link 4)
•Glybera: $1.21 million wholesale cost per year
•Soliris: $700,000 wholesale cost per year
•Naglazyme: $485,747 wholesale cost per year
•Vimizim: $380,000 wholesale cost per year
•Elaprase: $375,000 wholesale cost per year

"On average, the world spends only about one-fortieth of the amount it devotes to human medicines on animal medicines. But that investment is used to cover animal health innovations for the world’s 24 billion chickens, more than 1 billion cattle and sheep, 750 million pigs and goats, 500 million dogs and 400 million cats." (Link 5)

"$3 billion worth of cancer drugs is thrown away every year, unused." (Link 6)

"In order to pay for a monthly prescription for Nexium, the popular acid reflux drug, an insurer in the United States pays, on average, $215 per customer. Yet the same prescription in the Netherlands costs about one-tenth less, just $23." (Link 7)

"PhRMA cites that on average, it takes more than 10 years and $2.6 billion dollars to bring a drug to market." (Link 7)

"Overall, global estimates of drug counterfeiting are ambiguous, depending on region, but proportions range from 1% of sales in developed countries to >10% in developing countries. In specific regions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, chances of purchasing a counterfeit drug may be >30%." (Link 8)

"In the last few years pharmaceutical companies have agreed to pay over $13 billion to resolve U.S. Department of Justice allegations of fraudulent marketing practices, including the promotion of medicines for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration." (Link 9)

"4.4 million payments were made to 546,000 physicians and 1,360 teaching hospitals between August and December of 2013. The payments — which include speaking fees, consulting fees, ownership stakes, and more — total $3.5 billion." (Link 10)

"Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, and so have sales of these prescription drugs. From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids." (Link 11)

"Pfizer's Lipitor is the most successful drug of all time, netting $131 billion in total sales since it hit the market. Bristol-Myers Squibb's blood thinner Plavix ranks a distant second, with around $60 billion in lifetime sales, according to FierceBiotech." (Link 12)

In summary, I hope that you will be able to share these 15 mind-blowing facts about the pharmaceuticals industry with your audience.

Thank you for using Wonder! Please let us know if we can help with anything else.