Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Making medicines evergreen

Developing a new drug costs less than $100m, not $900m

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 22 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f398
  1. Peter C Gøtzsche, professor1
  1. 1Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. pcg{at}

The popular myth created by the drug industry that it costs around $1bn (£0.63bn; €0.75bn) to develop a new drug never dies,1 although it has been refuted countless times. In reply to a BMJ paper mentioning this, Stephen Whitehead, chief executive, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, claimed that the true cost was $1.6bn.2

These estimates are …

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