Many countries employ a range of policies to support their drug development industry. The support is primarily because of the perceived potential benefits from wealth creation, employment, and international trade related to a high-technology industry. New Zealand (NZ) has a growing drug development industry; this article reports on the results of interviews with people representing the industry. The NZ industry reported that government policies that included funding of scientific, medical, and drug development research, a robust regulatory system, and strong patent laws have created a cluster of expertise for specialized drug development services. This is similar to those that have been reported to encourage the biotechnology industries of many countries. Threats to the industry in NZ include insufficient funding, small industry size, insufficient supportive policies, and stakeholders' lack of understanding of the industry. These barriers differ from those of developing countries such as China and India, probably because NZ's industry is built on its scientific and medical research rather than its manufacturing capability. The specific policies requested to further support the NZ industry include increased government investment, improved management of funding, and support for research, education, and career development. Drug Dev Res 73: 1–10, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.