The three papers by Scherer (2007), Berndt et al. (2007), and Reiffen and Ward (2007) in this issue cover disparate topics, but together they manage to encompass much of what is important during a drug's lifecycle. Scherer's paper examines pharmaceutical industry R&D productivity and efficacy and safety testing during a new drug's development, Berndt, Danzon and Kruse investigate cross-national data on utilization, pricing, promotion, and diffusion of brand name drugs after they have been developed for marketing approval, and Reiffen and Ward explore generic competition once a new drug loses patent protection. They add much to our understanding of these topics. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.