More for Marketing?

January 1, 2002
Jill Wechsler, Pharm Exec's Washington Correspondent

Jill Wechsler is Pharm Exec's Washington Corespondent

Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical Executive, Pharmaceutical Executive-01-01-2002,

The wrangling over whether pharma companies invest more in R&D than in marketing is heating up again.

The wrangling over whether pharma companies invest more in R&D than in marketing is heating up again. The latest volley was tossed by researchers who claim that brand-name firms have greatly expanded their sales and marketing staffs over the past five years, while cutting research departments. A brief analysis of industry data by Alan Sager and Deborah Socolar of the Boston University School of Public Health claims that manufacturer R&D employees declined slightly to 48,527 people in 2000, while marketing employment rocketed from 55,348 in 1995 to 87,810 in 2000.

The authors claim that this data-which came from PhRMA's "Industry Profile 2001"-discredits industry claims that their main focus is discovering new cures for disease and that Americans must continue to pay high prices to support pharma research.

PhRMA's Jeff Trewitt maintains that "personnel figures are misleading" because innovator firms spent twice as much-$30 billion-on R&D last year than on marketing and that companies have expanded sales forces in recent years because they have a lot more new products to talk about.