The number of new medicines approved or pending approval is on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic, painting an encouraging picture for the global drugs industry as it emerges from a wave of patent expiries.
Yesterday, European regulators said they expect an increase in new drug applications to about 54 in 2013. Here at home, a total of 34 new drugs have been approved for sale so far in 2012 - the highest level in eight years.
The FDA still has just over a week to add more approvals to this year's tally - and there are signs that the number will increase further. The agency is expected to announce decisions on an additional four drugs before the end of the year.
The European Medicines Agency painted a different picture of improving productivity by announcing that its work program for the year ahead included a forecast for 54 new drug applications, up from 52 in 2012, 48 in 2011 and 34 in 2010. And these figures exclude medicines designated for orphan diseases.
The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals. – Sir William Osler