Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development

The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development is an academic nonprofit think tank at Tufts University in Boston, dedicated to researching drug development. It was established in 1976 by American physician Louis Lasagna.[1] The Center develops and publishes information to help researchers, regulators, and policy makers in areas related to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The Center receives 25% of its funding from the pharmaceutical industry in the form of unrestricted grants.[2][3]

Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development
Formation1976 (1976)
FounderLouis Lasagna
TypeThink tank
PurposeResearching drug development
Kenneth I. Kaitin


The Center studies trends in the pharmaceutical industry, maintaining databases pertaining to investigational new drugs, approved drugs, biopharmaceuticals, fast-tracked drugs, and orphan drugs.[4] The Center provides this information with the aim to improve the efficiency of drug development, foster innovation, and increase patient access to medicines.[5]

Drug development costsEdit

The Center has published numerous studies estimating the cost of developing new pharmaceutical drugs. In 2001, researchers from the Center estimated that the cost of doing so was $802 million,[6] and in 2014, they released a study estimating that this amount had risen to nearly $2.6 billion.[3] The 2014 study was criticized by Medecins Sans Frontieres, which said it was unreliable because the industry's research and development spending is not made public.[7] Aaron Carroll of the New York Times also criticized the study, saying it "contains a lot of assumptions that tend to favor the pharmaceutical industry."[8] The Center's 2016 estimate, published in the Journal of Health Economics, found the cost to have averaged $2.87 billion (in 2013 dollars).[9]


  1. ^ "History". Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.
  2. ^ "Financial Disclosure". Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.
  3. ^ a b Silverman, Ed (20 November 2014). "What Does It Cost to Develop a New Drug? Latest Study Says $2.6 Billion". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Databases". Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.
  5. ^ "Research Platforms and Current Research Agenda". Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.
  6. ^ Pear, Robert (1 December 2001). "Research Cost For New Drugs Said to Soar". New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  7. ^ Pierson, Ransdell (18 November 2014). "CORRECTED-Tufts says average new drug costs $2.6 bln to develop, critics wary". Reuters. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  8. ^ Carroll, Aaron (19 November 2014). "$2.6 Billion to Develop a Drug? New Estimate Makes Questionable Assumptions". New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  9. ^ Joseph A. DiMasi, Henry G. Grabowski, Ronald W. Hansen (2016). "Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry: New estimates of R&D costs" (PDF). Journal of Health Economics. 47: 20–33. doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2016.01.012. PMID 26928437.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)