The pharmaceutical industry broke its 66-year record in 2015, with the FDA approving 45 new types of medication.
The pharmaceutical industry has been quite busy recently. According to a Forbes report, 2015 was the best year on record since 1950, resulting in 51 new drugs on the market, 45 of which have already received FDA approval.
45 of the new medications have been approved by the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, or CDER, while 6 recombinant therapies were approved by the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, or CBER. The second group included four medications that treat blood coagulation disorders, like hemophilia, a vaccine for melanoma, and a vaccine that prevents meningococcal meningitis type B.
Thirty nine different drug manufacturers contributed new products in 2015, and eight companies were granted multiple approvals from the FDA. Novartis took the lead with five new drugs, and Amgen came in second place with three new medications. Actavis, Alexion, Baxalta, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, and Roche all earned two new approvals.
Over the span of the past ten years, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, and GSK have remained in the top three spots in the pharmaceutical industry. Bayer, Lilly, and Abbvie round out the bottom of the list. The top three companies have collectively introduced 47 new drugs to the market over this time span, while the bottom three companies have only introduced eight new drugs.
Oncology, or the study of the treatment of tumors, lead for the year with 16 new medications, accounting for nearly one third of all new approvals. Medications treating infectious diseases dropped over last year’s level, but a solid range of vaccine, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral medications were introduced in 2015. There were five new drugs treating blood disorders, mostly focusing on hemophilia. There were only four new medications for the treatment of mental disorders, the same number that were approved in 2014.