Medicines are only one part of investment in research in healthcare. Global investment in healthcare research is an important component, but a difficult metric to obtain because of the variation in funding types and organisations supporting this work globally. Such a measure includes government, the private sector and the academic / non-profit sectors.
The US leads by far the amount of government expenditure on health R&D expenditure, followed by the UK (roughly one-tenth the US expenditure). However, we do not have values for 2015 and 2016 for all of the compared countries. This measure of public investment in health R&D should continue to be closely watched.
The OECD Structural Analysis (STAN) database defines total expenditure on health as the sum of expenditure on activities that – through application of medical, paramedical and nursing knowledge and technology – has goals of: promoting health and preventing disease, curing illness and reducing premature mortality, caring for persons affected by chronic illness who require nursing care, caring for persons with health-related impairments, disability and handicaps who require nursing care, assisting patients to die with dignity, providing and administering public health, providing and administering health programmes, health insurance and other funding arrangements.
|Year||Australia US Dollar, Millions||Canada US Dollar, Millions||France US Dollar, Millions||Germany US Dollar, Millions||Italy US Dollar, Millions||Japan US Dollar, Millions||Spain US Dollar, Millions||Sweden US Dollar, Millions||United Kingdom US Dollar, Millions||United States US Dollar, Millions|
Source: OECD STAN database (Science, Technology and Patents) accessed 15 February, 2018.