Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center endeavored to provide a contemporary estimate of research and development (R&D) spending to develop cancer drugs. They analyzed U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings for drug companies that received FDA approval for a cancer drug from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2015. Cumulative R&D spending was estimated from initiation of drug development activity to date of approval. Earnings were also identified from the time of approval to the present. The study was conducted from December 10, 2016, to March 2, 2017. Ten companies and drugs were included in the analysis. The 10 companies had a median time to develop a drug of 7.3 years. Five drugs received accelerated approval from FDA and 5 received regular approval. The median cost of drug development was $648.0 million. The median cost was $757.4 million for a 7% opportunity cost and $793.6 million for a 9% opportunity cost. With a median of 4.0 years since approval, the total revenue from sales of these 10 drugs since approval was $67.0 billion compared with total R&D spending of $7.2 billion ($9.1 billion, including 7% opportunity costs). The researchers concluded the cost to develop a cancer drug is $648.0 million, a figure significantly lower than prior estimates.