Mythes pharmaceutiques

Les compagnies pharmaceutiques veulent nous faire croire que la montée en flèche des prix des médicaments est nécessaire pour couvrir leurs coûts de recherche et développement (R&D), argument qui implique qu’elles dépensent la majeure partie de leurs fonds en R&D, et qu’une fois la dépense faite, il ne leur reste qu’un maigre bénéfice. La réduction des prix, disent-ils, étranglerait la R&D et étoufferait l’innovation. La vérité est bien différente.

Les grandes compagnies pharmaceutiques dépensent relativement peu en R&D, bien moins qu’elles ne dépensent en marketing et en gestion et encore moins que ce qu’il leur reste de bénéfices. En 2002, par exemple, les dix plus grosses compagnies pharmaceutiques américaines enregistraient 217 milliards de dollars de ventes. Selon leurs propres chiffres, elles ont dépensé 14 % des revenus des ventes en R&D. Elles ont toutefois dépensé deux fois plus, soit un effarant 31 %, en marketing et gestion. Il leur resta également 17 % de bénéfices.

La plupart des compagnies pharmaceutiques regroupent le marketing et la gestion dans leurs rapports annuels, mais certains montrent parfois que 85 % du total peuvent être attribués au marketing. Si l'on part du principe que ce chiffre est à peu près le même pour la plupart des grosses sociétés, et il y a de fortes raisons d'y croire, elles dépensent donc deux fois plus en marketing seul qu'en R&D.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.