New drugs and biologics have had a tremendous impact on the treatment of many diseases. However, available measures suggest that pharmaceutical innovation has remained relatively flat, despite substantial growth in research and development spending. We review recent literature on pharmaceutical innovation to identify limitations in measuring and assessing innovation, and we describe the framework and collaborative approach we are using to develop more comprehensive, publicly available metrics for innovation. Our research teams at the Brookings Institution and Deerfield Institute are collaborating with experts from multiple areas of drug development and regulatory review to identify and collect comprehensive data elements related to key development and regulatory characteristics for each new molecular entity approved over the past several decades in the United States and the European Union. Subsequent phases of our effort will add data on downstream product use and patient outcomes and will also include drugs that have failed or been abandoned in development. Such a database will enable researchers to better analyze the drivers of drug innovation, trends in the output of new medicines, and the effect of policy efforts designed to improve innovation.