Why prescription drugs cost so much more in America | Financial Times
En dehors de celles pour « la recherche et le développement » (R&D) d’un médicament, quelles sont les autres dépenses d’une compagnie pharmaceutique ?
Major #pharma companies make about twice as much in profit each quarter as they spend on R&D. And most spend significantly more on sales and marketing — particularly in the US, where TV advertising is allowed.
The industry is also spending more money on M&A and share buybacks. Increasingly, #big_pharma is outsourcing innovation to smaller biotechs, then buying the companies before they have a product on the market and using their own commercial machines to sell the drugs widely.
When they are not buying companies, they are often buying back shares. Unlike dividends, buybacks boost earnings per share, helping executives meet targets and bag bonuses. From 2006 to 2015, 18 major pharma companies spent $261bn on buying back shares, 57 per cent of what they spent on R&D, according to William Lazonick, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
He says the drug companies and their lobbyists “are talking out of both sides of their mouth”. “Either the purpose of a drug company and the people managing it is to take the profits and reinvest them . . . to do drug development. That I have no problem with,” he says. “Or it is to distribute money to shareholders, which is in fact what they are doing.”