The United States' global share of biomedical research spending fell to 45 percent in 2012 from 51 percent in 2007, while Japan and China continued to increase spending.
Asian countries continued to increase their research funding and accounted for 24 percent of global spending in 2012, up from 18 percent in 2007. Japan's spending increased by $9 billion and China's increased by $6.4 billion from 2007 to 2012.
U.S. spending dropped from $131 billion in 2007 to $119 billion in 2012, adjusted for inflation. European countries held steady at 29 percent of the global spending on biomedical research.
The analysis, conducted by the University of Michigan Health System, is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Despite the National Institutes of Health reducing funding for research, including clinical trials for new drugs and therapies, the analysis indicates most of this decline in spending comes from the private sector.
According to Reshma Jagsi, author of the study and professor at the University of Michigan, the increase in Asian spending could be because of fewer regulations and the lower cost to conduct research. These lower costs -- low labor costs and government subsidies -- and a less bureaucratic system could explain this increase as well.
[New England Journal of Medicine]