Approximately 30 major pharmaceutical firms worldwide have spent a combined $112bn on R&D in 2013, an increase of $723m compared with the previous year, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The firm’s report revealed Roche was the spending leader of R&D with $10bn in 2013, while Novartis and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) increased R&D spending in 2012 and 2013, with each adding $500m to their respective clinics.
Novartis’s R&D spending increased by 5.6% to $9.8bn, while J&J spent $8.2bn, an increase of 6.8% from 2012.
GlobalData industry analyst Adam Dion said the increase in R&D spending was partly due to drug makers advancing pipeline programmes into later-stage clinical trials, which are generally more expensive.
Mr Dion said: "Roche’s R&D spending was bolstered by continued investments in its oncology and neuroscience therapeutic areas, such as the company’s investigational anti-PD-L1 antibody targeting lung cancer and the advancement of its programs for Alzheimer’s disease."
"Novartis’s R&D spending grew largely due to its Alcon subsidiary, which allocated additional resources to R&D to develop new eye care products.
"The company’s vaccine and diagnostics products business invested heavily to bring to market its meningitis B vaccine, Bexsero."
Multiple large pharmaceutical firms withdrew clinical investment in 2013, despite the sector increase in R&D spending.
Mr Dion said: "In efforts to improve profit margins, cost-cutting still remains a strategic necessity for some players.
"Many companies reduced their workforces to help stabilise profits in the aftermath of patent losses."