A new survey out indicates that drug companies spend twice as much on the promotion of their products than they do researching and developing them.
It comes this week from a paper on the Public Library of Science Web site.
From this new estimate, it appears that pharmaceutical companies spend almost twice as much on promotion as they do on R&D. These numbers clearly show how promotion predominates over R&D in the pharmaceutical industry, contrary to the industry’s claim. While the amount spent on promotion is not in itself a confirmation of Kefauver’s depiction of the pharmaceutical industry, it confirms the public image of a marketing-driven industry and provides an important argument to petition in favor of transforming the workings of the industry in the direction of more research and less promotion.
The paper is heavy on methodology and requires some thick reading. But it leads to an obvious discussion.
It was less than a year ago, you may recall, that a study showed Minnesota doctors received tens of thousands of dollars in payments and speaking fees (all legal) from the drug companies.
(h/t The Consumerist)