Education Video

Five Things You Didn’t Know About the Pharmaceutical Industry

Roughly 100 years ago, the average lifespan around the globe was less than 40 years old. But with advancements in science and medicine, people today live to be almost 70—an increase of 75 percent.

Much of the medical breakthroughs have come in the form of lifesaving drugs that have eradicated life-threatening diseases like polio, yellow fever, and small pox.

But who do we have to thank for all of these advancements? Well that’s easy, the pharmaceutical industry.

In honor of their contributions to increasing the length and quality of life, here are five things you didn’t know about the pharmaceutical l industry.

Number One: One out of every $6 spent in the U.S. on research and development is spent by the pharmaceutical industry in the pursuit of new innovative medicines.

Number Two: The industry is directly responsible for over 850,000 jobs in the U.S., as well as another 1.7 million indirectly.

Number Three: The biopharmaceutical industry accounts for 3.1 percent of all U.S. exports—which has nearly tripled since 2003.

Number Four: The industry sponsors roughly 6,200 clinical trials annually—which supports $25 billion of economic activity in the U.S.

Number Five: The rise of new innovative drugs has also attributed to a reduction in time spent in the hospital. Since 1968, the average length of a hospital stay in the U.S. has dropped by 35 percent—decreasing from 8.4 days to 5.5 days. Since hospital costs are the biggest expenses in the health care system, this helps keep overall costs much lower.

The pharmaceutical industry provides new lifesaving drugs, employs millions of people, and boosts the economy through exports.