Madrid, 15th September 2016 – The pharmaceutical industry based in Spain invested € 1,004m in Research and Development projects during 2015, as reflected in the results of the survey of R&D Activity that Farmaindustria carries out each year between its members. From this, it is evident that the pharmaceutical sector has strengthened its leadership within industrial R&D in Spain.
This sum of more than one billion Euros is a 5.7% increase on the 2014 figure (€ 950m), and therefore representing the largest annual increase in the last seven years. Moreover, this increase maintains the positive trend that began in 2014, reinforcing the strong commitment of the sector despite the severity of the crisis and saving measures. Thus, in 2014 and 2015 it has increased by 2.4% and 5.7%, respectively.
The survey also shows that there has been a slight increase of personnel employed within R&D (1.1% more than in 2014), which is a source of stable, diverse employment (approximately two-thirds of those employed in this field are women) and highly qualified (86% are university graduates).
It should be noted that € 416m were allocated to research contracts with hospitals, universities and research centres – this is called ‘in-house’ R&D. This particular area of investment has increased by almost 9% over 2014, accounting for 41% of total investment in R&D within the pharmaceutical industry. This investment, which is essential for research into new drugs and scientific development of organizations and healthcare professionals, transforms the pharmaceutical industry into the main driver of public-private biomedical partnership in our country, with a contribution (though led by Madrid and Catalonia) shared by all autonomies.
‘In-house’ research reached €588m, around 59% of the total investment. The highest percentage of these investments took place in Madrid (47%) and Catalonia (41%); the remaining 12% was carried out in other communities or abroad.
As for expenditure items invested in R&D, the main one was allocated to clinical trials, with an investment totalling more than € 495m. It should be noted that investment in this field has increased at an average annual rate of 4.3% over the past 10 years, from €324m in 2005 to € 495m in 2015.
On this item dedicated to clinical trials, about 37% is invested in research in Phases I and II, i.e. the phases that generate higher added value. Since 2005, when the early phases accounted for 25.6% of the total, a significant increase in weight compared to the later stages was noted, which supports the quality and potential of our health system and Spanish research staff. It also shows the strong commitment of the pharmaceutical industry for its collaboration with Spanish centres and health professionals, and points out the great development opportunities in this area for our country.
Once again, the survey confirms the importance that the biotechnology research industry poses to the pharmaceutical industry as a whole. In 2015, investment in this field increased by more than 12.5% compared to 2014, reaching € 252m. The amount allocated for biotechnology research accounts for 25% of pharmaceutical R&D in Spain.