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U.S. domination of global biomedical R&D slips as Asian budgets swell

Big Pharma’s decision to shift more of its R&D resources to Asia over the past few years has helped spur a subtle but significant erosion of the U.S.’s traditional dominance in the field. New research from the University of Michigan Health System shows that the U.S. share of the global biomedical R&D business declined to 45%–from 51%–between 2007 and 2012. And while Europe stayed steady at 29%, Asia swelled from 18% to 24%.

The R&D budget in the U.S. dropped from $131 billion in 2007 to $119 billion–adjusted for inflation–in 2012.

Japan accounted for much of the increase in Asia, with a $9 billion increase in R&D spending. And the growing China market added $6.4 billion in spending as companies ranging from Merck ($MRK) to GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) stepped up their work in the booming country.