UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Pharmaceutical innovation : can health and economic goals be met? Morgan, Steve; Mochrie, Clare


Canadians spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year on pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) through governments, charitable organizations,and private investment. While the pharmaceutical industry accounts for only 2% of the Canadian economy, it is responsible for more than 10% of all Canadian R&D; and although research in other sectors has decreased in recent years, pharmaceutical R&D continues to rise. From a public policy perspective, the hope is that this R&D will spur pharmaceutical innovation with benefits to population health and the economy. The degree to which these goals are both being realized, however, is the subject of increasing debate. This paper investigates the drivers of pharmaceutical R&D and re-examines how “innovations” from this sector are defined and promoted. Our aim is to reframe these issues and stimulate a new, balanced debate on pharmaceutical innovation.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada