Asian biomedical R&D expenditure estimates challenged

TDR news item
26 June 2014

Both the methods and analysis of estimates of biomedical research and development (R&D) expenditures in Asia have been questioned by a group that includes Rob Terry, TDR’s manager of knowledge management and researchers from Norway, Netherlands and France. The group took a different approach that changed the results, showing that China, not Japan, shows the greatest increase in R&D expenditures, and that the United States does not have as dramatic a reduction in global R&D spending as originally estimated.

The challenge was published in a letter to the editor in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), asserting that different frameworks should be used to calculate regional exchange rates. The original study published 2 January suggested that the U.S. share of global expenditures decreased from 2007 to 2012, resulting in a decline in U.S. financial competitiveness in biomedical R&D.

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Robert Terry (

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