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Even as the pandemic continues to take a toll on the world economy, the pharmaceutical industry appears to have emerged well-positioned to churn out needed medicines, although China is capturing a larger share, according to a new report, which found a record number of clinical studies under way, burgeoning product pipelines, and increased R&D investments by the world’s largest drug makers.

For instance, 84 novel new medicines were initially launched globally in 2021, a record amount and also double the number from five years ago. The total number of medicines actively being developed in human trials globally exceeds 6,000, up 67% from 2016. There are also more than 800 next-generation therapies in the R&D pipeline, up from 600 at the end of 2019.

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