The biomedical industry uses living organisms or biological systems to develop its products. Most of the items that fall under this umbrella belong to the biopharmaceutical drug segment of the industry. Europe and the United States are the primary regions where research and development occur, with over 700 public companies operating in this field. There are more than 200,000 employees in these regions as well, generating over $140 billion in revenues annually.
American firms are the primary driver of the biomedical industry, representing $112 billion of the $140 billion in revenues earned each year. The current market cap for the U.S. market is over $700 billion. The San Francisco region has the highest concentration of firms in this segment, and the United States is the home of 60% of the world’s top companies that produce biotech.
Cancer drugs make up the largest segment of the biopharmaceutical research and development work that currently exists. There are agricultural and energy-based segments of this industry that contribute revenues to the overall market as well.
Essential Biomedical Industry Statistics
#1. The overall economic impact of the biopharmaceutical industry in the United States is $1.3 trillion when all output factors are given consideration. This figure represents 4% of the total GDP of the country. (Select USA)
#2. Biomedical industry agencies support over 4.7 million jobs across the United States in direct or indirect ways. Biopharmaceuticals are the biggest contributor to this number, responsible for over 800,000 positions. (Select USA)
#3. There are an estimated 100,000 over-the-counter drugs that are marketed and sold through a number of different outlets, ranging from convenience stores to pharmacies. With an aging population and a trend toward self-medication, this segment is expected to continue growing. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#4. There were 22 new medicines approved by the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation in 2016, and then five additional products that received approval without the CDER designation. 36% of the approvals were first-in-class medicines that year, representing a completely new way to treat certain diseases. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#5. Over 40% of the new medicines in the current biomedical pipeline have the potential to be precision medicines. About 1 in 4 that received 2016 approval by the FDA in any capacity held this designation. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#6. The Food and Drug Administration currently has over 500 active investigations involving new drug applications that involve gene therapy products. There were over 100 applications sent through in the last year. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#7. Even if the approval process for new biomedical products is successful, it doesn’t relieve the manufacturer from their responsibilities to do no harm. From 2012 to 2015, Pfizer paid almost $1 billion in penalties due to the harmful effects of the items they brought to the marketplace. (Statista)
#8. The biomedical industry spends almost $3 billion per year on marketing for its consumer products. Agencies in this market spend an average of nearly $13 million per year to improve brand recognition. Almost $6 billion in media spending happened in 2016 through this industry. (Statista)
#9. Almost $12 billion in research and development investments come from outside of the United States each year for the biomedical industry. A majority of these funds are either through direct partnerships or foreign direct investment. (Statista)
#10. Over $271 billion in retail sales occurs at U.S. drug stores each year to support the revenue profile of this industry. (Statista)
#11. American manufacturers in the biomedical industry export more than $50 billion worth of products each year. That represents about 25% of the gross output levels of pharmaceutical preparation that occurs in this segment each year. (Statista)
#12. Over $450 billion of spending occurs domestically with the American market of the biomedical industry. About 75% of the money comes from branded and patented drugs that consumers have no other alternative but to purchase because of the structure of laws in this field right now. (Statista)
#13. Single-use bioprocessing equipment is the primary option that biomedical manufacturers use today, representing 90% of the activities in this industry. Over 80% of the active firms are using single-use bioreactors as part of their product development process. (PharmTech)
#14. There are over 200 biomedical products currently in clinical trials right now, representing about 40% of the new development opportunities created by this industry in the last decade. These new medication classes all have the potential to provide targeted relief for specific diseases because of their formulation. (PharmTech)
#15. About 10% of the industry leaders say that there are severe bottlenecking issues taking place in the biomedical industry right now, with another 45% seeing this as a potential problem that may need to be addressed in the future. (PharmTech)
#16. Almost 20% of today’s biomedical professionals say that productivity and manufacturing efficiency are the two most critical operational areas which require improvements if the industry is going to see future growth. (PharmTech)
#17. There are over 1,000 biogenerics and biosimilars at various stages of research and development in this industry right now. About 10% of these products are at the clinical trial stage of their development. (PharmTech)
#18. Since the introduction of the biomedical industry in its modern terms, cancer fatality rates have decreased by over 20% in just two decades. 80% of the improvements in this statistic are directly attributed to the various treatment options that active agencies are producing for consumers every day. (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
#19. Roche’s share of the prescription drug market from a biotech standpoint stood at 15.4% as of 2018, making them one of the global biomedical leaders in this segment. (Statista)
#20. Gilead Sciences produced net sales of $21.77 billion in 2018, with their leading product based on revenue being Genvoya. It is a four-drug combination that includes an HIV-1 integrase strand transfer inhibitor, two HIV-1 nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and a CYP3A inhibitor. (Statista)
#21. The biomedical industry has been able to take the cure rate of Hepatitis C from 50% during a 48-week treatment period to 90% with an eight-week biomedical option in just 5 years of research and development. (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
#22. The 15 best-selling biomedical products in the world today all have annual sales of more than $2 billion each. Humira is often prescribed to treat issues with chronic pain due to its immunosuppressive effect. It’s useful for plaque psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and several other conditions. This one product generates over $10 billion in revenues for the industry each year. (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
#23. There are more than 1,500 biomolecules going through various stages of clinical trials right now. The success rate is increasing too, as the number of patents in this area has grown by 25% since 1995. (McKinsey)
#24. Fatalities from all HIV types and AIDS have dropped by almost 90% since the introduction of new treatment concepts from the biomedical industry. Using HAART as an example, almost 900,000 people are still alive today because of the advances that occurred in the industry. (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
#25. Pfizer saw an almost 30% increase in revenues since the beginning of the 21st century specifically because of their research and development investments in the biomedical field. (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
#26. Other companies in the biomedical sector, such as Merck and Novartis, have seen at least a 10% increase in their revenues since 2000 because of advances they have made as well. (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
#27. In total, there are over 500 new medications that are on the market today, most of them developed in the past 20 years, that are specifically approved for use because of the research and development investments that are happening in the biomedical sector right now. (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
#28. Rare disease treatments are a top priority for the biomedical industry, especially with the promise of genetic therapies potentially reversing some of the most challenging diseases known to humankind. There are currently over 400 new products at some stage of development right now. (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
#29. The global biomedical industry is currently working on more than 7,000 new products that could one day be brought to the market. 70% of these items are first-in-class medicines that would represent an entirely new way to treat illnesses, diseases, and disorders. (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
#30. 30% of the new drugs in the United States that are in clinical trials or are awaiting their final FDA approval are biologics produced by this industry. That’s good news for consumers since biosimilars are up to 30% cheaper at the retail level than their referenced products. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#31. If you were to take an Aspirin right now, then you would have a medication molecule that provides you with 21 treatment atoms. The average number of atoms in a biomedical molecule could contain over 25,000 treatment atoms. (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
#32. The cost of developing a successful medicine in the biomedical industry can exceed $2.6 billion. In the 1970s, that figure was closer to $170 million. Most companies experience lost research and development investments because of the high failure rates that occur. (IFPMA)
#33. Phase III research and development investments held the greatest share for the biomedical industry in 2014, representing 28.7% of the money directed toward new products. Preclinical and pre-human trials took a 21% share of the investments, while about 17% went to Phase IV items. (IFPMA)
#34. Compared with other high-tech industries in the world today, the annual spending on just pharmaceuticals in the biomedical industry is 5.5 times higher than that of aerospace or defense. It’s also five times higher than the chemical industry and almost double that of the computer services and software industry. (IFPMA)
#35. Research and development intensity by research-based firms in the biomedical industry accounts for 17.1% of the funds directed to new items in the United States, 13.3% in the European Union, and 13.3% in Japan as well. No other business sector has intensity levels that are this high. (IFPMA)
#36. 34 new antibacterial compounds are in development, with 19 of them representing large- or small-molecule treatments. The other 15 items are vaccines. (IFPMA)
#37. There are over 35 anti-retroviral treatments for HIV and AIDS that were developed by the biomedical industry over the past 20 years, allowing doctors to take control of the epidemic. (IFPMA)
#38. The vaccines produced by the biomedical industry each year save the lives of at least 2.5 million children. Immunization campaigns that target the measles have cut the number of deaths in Africa by up to 92% in some communities. (IFPMA)
#39. The biomedical industry currently has 510 new items in progress that are intended to treat mental disorders. There are 563 new products in the research and development stages for cardiovascular needs. Another 2,000 items are under development for cancer treatments as well. (IFPMA)
#40. Between 2005-2014, there were 293 medications approved that offered new hope for patients who had a challenging disease to treat. For every dollar that is spent on prescription drugs in the United States, it saves $2 in hospitalization costs. When you look at every $1 spent on childhood vaccination, it saves $10.20 in treatment costs. (IFPMA)
Biomedical Industry Trends and Analysis
The biomedical industry may be relatively new to the global economy, but it is making an immediate and beneficial impact in numerous ways. It will quickly become the primary revenue generator for the pharmaceutical sector, give us access to new supportive products and ideas, and help us all to live happier, more comfortable lives.
There are several issues that the biomedical industry will continue to face in the next 5-10 years as the demand for more products increases. Many of the genetic therapies and biopharmaceuticals have shown minimal long-term benefits at this stage of the research and development process. For every new successful product that reaches the market, some agencies are stopping 9 other projects because they are unsuccessful.
Over the next 10 years, optimistic forecasts place revenue growth for the biomedical industry at 10%. It may be closer to 7.5% when looking at the typical failure rate of clinical trials. It could be as little as 3% during this forecast period if an above-average number of rejections comes through with the current products under evaluation.
There are very few industries in the world that have the power to change life outcomes as much as the biomedical industry. We will see in the coming years just how powerful this segment of the economy will become.
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