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Global Drug Discovery: Europe is Ahead,” Health Affairs – web exclusive 2009 (25 Aug): w969-77

This article takes industry data used by supported economists to "show" American dominance in R&D and shows that dollar for dollar the opposite is the case.

The quality of the data, however, is terrible; so who knows what the real story is? Yet major policies are decided on crude and inaccurate measures, and on bias analysis.

The real problem is not research productivity but its focus on new drugs with few clinical advantages. About 5 of every 6 new drugs offer few advantages, yet pose substantial risk of harm. Prescription drugs have become a leading cause of hospitalization and death.