Europe is getting a "free ride" on US lab coattails where pharmaceutical research and development is concerned. That's the argument being made by US government and business leaders. They complain that pharmaceutical R&D spending has largely shifted to the US, where Americans pay the lion's share of drug development costs. Meanwhile, they argue, consumers in Europe's largest markets enjoy the fruits of that investment-at prices 25-35% lower than those Americans pay. The debate on this issue has grown contentious. Americans charge that Europeans underpay for drugs by imposing onerous regulations on drugmakers that keep prices and utilization artificially low. Europeans retort that Americans overpay for expensive, marginally valuable medicines, thereby funding excessive industry marketing efforts.