12/19/2012 7:56:00 AM
How many jobs involve spending up to $12.7 billion on a single successful product? Leading the research and development business of one of the big pharmaceutical companies is an amazingly complicated job: a decent R&D chief needs to combine a sharp eye for identifying high-potential scientific research, a mastery of process management, the commercial instinct needed to invest billions of dollars annually into profitable avenues, and a knack for knowing which of dozens of potential experimental pathways should be followed. These chiefs are responsible for some serious spending: from 2004-2011, five big pharmaceutical companies — GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis, and Amgen — spent more than $25 billion each on R&D (Merck spent $50.88 billion). What did each company get in return? Christopher Bowe, the head of content at pharmaceutical research company Informa-Scrip Group, crunched some numbers.
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