Your Drug Dollars at Work

A spending breakdown for the top four drug companies.

PR materials for America’s drug manufacturers are replete with assertions such as “U.S. companies spend much more on R&D than on promotion.” But the math doesn’t hold water: A study released earlier this year by a pair of Canadian researchers found that in the US alone, the industry’s research budget of $31.5 billion (which includes billions in public funding) pales in comparison to the $57.5 billion spent on promotions. In 2004, the industry employed more than 100,000 sales reps, or roughly 1 for every 7 doctors; the companies spent an average of $61,000 per doctor.

Your Tax Dollars at Work