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French drug firms in spotlight over R&D tax claims

Image: Dave Dugdale [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

A system of tax credits for companies investing in R&D is being misused by large pharmaceutical companies, according to a report from the science campaign group Sciences en Marche.

The report, originally published on 19 March as evidence for a parliamentary inquiry, says that “the system has evidently unleashed opportunistic behaviour among certain companies that seek to benefit from it without really investing in research or innovation”.

Its authors are particularly critical of larger pharmaceutical companies. Firms employing more than 500 staff have received 63 per cent of the tax breaks since the system was created, their analysis shows, but have provided just 18 per cent of new jobs in R&D. Overall, pharmaceutical companies in France have shed about 700 jobs a year since the system was established.

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