Big pharma spent £183bn on R&D, M&A and licensing deals in 2021. Huge though that figure is, it’s actually a slight dip in overall spend compared to the previous couple of years. Why a dip? Mainly it’s down to reduced deal making. Despite low valuations for many companies there’s been a distinct lack of bargain basement-style shopping activity. Meanwhile, overall R&D spend amongst the biggest players tipped over the $100bn mark for the first time. 

In this eBook, we look at the top spenders in the big pharma space and consider which strategies show the strongest signs of paying off in the long term. We also ask what the $110bn dollars that the big 11 spent on share buybacks and dividends last year means for investor support and share price performance. 



Big pharma’s biggest spenders revealed

Bristol Myers Squibb has spent the most on M&A, R&D and licensing since 2017, and Eli Lilly the least. Guess which strategy is working best.
Covid drives a record jump in research spending for big pharma

A second year of pandemic investments helped big pharma’s combined R&D bill surge above $100bn for the first time.
Opportunities arise for once-spurned partners

Following the Pfizer-Biohaven blueprint, could other licensing deals turn into buyouts?
Investors bite the big pharma hands that feed them

Spending heavily on buybacks and dividends does not mean sector-leading share price performance