AHIP Study Finds Top Drug Companies’ Sales and Marketing Budgets Swamp R&D Budgets

In case you missed it, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) released a new study Wednesday that found Big Pharma continued to spend more advertising and selling its products than investing in research and development (R&D) even amid unprecedented focus on the development of new treatments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study found that “Of the 10 drug manufacturers examined, 7 of them spent more on selling and marketing expenses than they did on research and development. For this group of 10 companies alone, selling and marketing expenses exceeded R&D spending by $36 billion, or 37%.” AHIP emphasized that, “this use of dollars occurred during a year dedicated to the development of new treatments and vaccines to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.”

The study shows that brand name drug manufacturers including AbbVie, Pfizer, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson all spent more on marketing and selling their products in 2020 than they did on developing new treatments:

“Big Pharma’s practices clearly show that their growth strategy is based on selling a greater volume of drugs to patients – not on creating groundbreaking new therapies and delivering more value to patients,” AHIP wrote, concluding that, “With thoughtful solutions that encourage private-market competition and end pharma’s gaming of the system, we can have both.”

Numerous other reports and studies have also debunked Big Pharma’s false rhetoric that solutions to lower prescription drug prices would undercut innovation into new cures.

Read AHIP’s full study “In the Midst of COVID-19 Crisis, 7 out of 10 Big Pharma Companies Spent More on Sales and Marketing than R&D” HERE.

Read more on why Big Pharma’s bogus innovation rhetoric doesn’t add up HERE.

Learn more on market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices HERE.

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