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Pharmaceutical Discoveries: More Dollars, More Drugs?

Does the U.S. pharmaceutical industry provide better drugs than Europe—or are they just more expensive?

By Meera Lee Sethi // Infographic by Flying Chilli // Summer 2010
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For years U.S. pharmaceutical companies and even U.S. government officials have subscribed to the idea that the United States leads the world in discoveries of new drugs. But a recent analysis of 20 years of data, carried out at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, challenges this accepted wisdom, demonstrating that lower prices paid by Europeans don’t preclude strong R&D, cost recovery and profits. Does our pharmaceutical industry really provide therapeutic value—or are U.S. drugs just better marketed and more expensive?

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