Pfizer top R&D spender worldwide

Hey, big spenders: Pfizer shelled out more on R&D last year than any other company in the world, and drug makers in general have stepped up their research budgets, the European Commission says. Not surprising, considering the leaks in Big Pharma pipelines--and looming threat of blockbusters going off-patent.

Pfizer spent $8.18 billion, elbowing Ford out of the top slot. Johnson & Johnson came in third. Merck boosted its spending by 24 percent, AstraZeneca by 15 percent; J&J by 13 percent; and GlaxoSmithKline by 10 percent. The question is whether the outlay will do much good.

- see the EU's press release
- read the AP report article

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