WASHINGTON, April 13, 2016 - Companies that want to bring a new crop protection product to market will have to spend $286 million in research and development and 11 years “to ensure the highest safety and efficacy standards,” according to a new report released today by CropLife International, CropLife America and the European Crop Protection Association.

The groups commissioned Phillips McDougall, a consulting company in the U.K. that specializes in market analysis for the agrichemical industry, to research the cost of bringing a new active ingredient to market. The report was released in conjunction with the CropLife America/Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment spring conference being held this week in Arlington, Va.

The time it takes to get a product on the market has increased from eight years in 1995 to more than 11 years today. “This increase could reflect greater complexity in the data requirements of regulatory bodies,” the report said. “However, it could also indicate the time taken to satisfy the regulators.”

Costs to develop new products have been steadily increasing. From 2000 to the 2005-2008 period, costs increased by 39.1 percent to $256 million, the report said. Then from the 2005-2008 period to the 2010-2014 period, they rose by 11.7 percent to $286 million.

Phillips McDougall surveyed five companies for the report: Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow and DuPont.

The report said the average cost of taking a product through development period increased from $67 million in 1995 to $79 million in 2000, and to $146 million for the 2005-8 period, where it remained for the 2010-14 range.

“Within this, the greatest rise was seen in the costs of Environmental Chemistry studies, which were shown to have risen 45.8 percent from 2005-08 to $35 million in 2010-14,” the report said. “It is likely that this increase can be attributed to a rise in environmental safety data required by regulatory bodies. The largest single cost in the development cycle remains due to field trials, which at $47 million account for 32.2 percent of the total spending on product development.”

“The crop protection industry continues to invest heavily in cutting edge innovations to help farmers around the world to protect their crops from pests,” said CropLife International CEO and President Howard Minigh. “Given the growing cost, the report demonstrates why we need predictable and risk-based regulations alongside robust intellectual property rights to give companies the confidence to continue to invest.”

CropLife America President and CEO Jay Vroom added, “Crop protection products have never been more thoroughly tested and screened to ensure product safety, which is why regulators must ensure that the process for review does not change at a moment’s notice.”

Recent regulatory decisions, Vroom said, “have strayed from … guidelines” established under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and the Food Quality Protection Act “by depending on less stringent scientific standards, causing concern about the ability for companies to bring new, more environmentally sound technologies to the market.” 

European Crop Protection Association Director General Jean-Charles Bocquet had this to say: “Our industry is founded in science, and as this report demonstrates, it takes years and significant resource and scientific expertise to get even close to bringing one of our innovations to market, (but) the increased politicization of science in Europe is making that process more and more difficult.” 



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