According to recent studies, with figures from 2013, the pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable in the world, with profit margins that can be up to 42% for some companies.
Data shows that global pharmaceutical sales reached $1 trillion in 2014 and are expected to reach $ 1.3 trillion by 2018.
What is the pharmaceutical industry doing with these vast amounts of money?
Figures from 2010 show that less than 8% of the global pharmaceutical sales are invested in research and development.
Moreover, 9 out of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies are spending more marketing the medicines they produce, rather than investing in research and development. In some cases, companies are spending even twice as much on marketing than on R&D. In 2013, Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest American pharmaceutical firms, spent $ 17.5 billion on sales marketing while only $ 8.2 billion on R&D. These figures speak volumes about the fact that high prices of medicines are not directly linked with the necessity of companies to recoup their R&D investments. On the contrary, these prices are driven by the goal of maximising profits.