Working Paper

Taxpayer Investment Leads New Drug Discoveries

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New research points to critical role of public funding in drug discoveries and development for the last decade

This research is focused on examining the role of the public sector as an early investor in biopharmaceutical discovery and development. In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary source of funding for basic biomedical research designed to elucidate fundamental mechanisms of biology, health, and disease. This research is expected to establish the scientific foundation for the discovery and development of new biopharmaceutical products. This interim report reviews the linear model of innovation underlying these expectations, and evidence for the effectiveness of this pathway. We also describe new data demonstrating that every new drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the decade from 2010-2019 was associated with basic science funded by the NIH.