Advancing Medical Research for Neurological Diseases

Advancing Medical Research for Neurological Diseases

02.18.13 | By Jennifer Wall

The New York Times this morning unveiled a few details about a new Obama initiative that could help further medical research for neurological diseases. While the initiative isn't fully baked, we at PhRMA have a few preliminary thoughts about the importance of collaboration in this space.

There should be no doubt that collaboration among partners in the entire medical innovation ecosystem is critical to help advance scientific understanding of some of the most complex diseases facing patients. Federal research institutions, academia, biopharmaceutical companies and patient communities all play an important role in furthering research, particularly in the neurological field.

In order to conquer devastating and costly conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, we must foster this scientific ecosystem and work to overcome these challenges by putting the pieces of the research puzzle together. If you recall, PhRMA held an awards program last September (the Research and Hope Award) that recognized the importance of the ecosystem and honored scientists in industry and academia as well as patient advocates who all have contributed to the advancement of research for Alzheimer's. (Stay tuned for more information about this year's Research and Hope Award theme)

There have been a lot of blog posts recently on the Catalyst about a new report we released highlighting the fact that biopharmaceutical companies are currently researching and developing more than 5,000 medicines for a wide range of diseases. Included in this figure are more than 600 medicines for neurological diseases alone.

The report also found that 84 percent of neurological medicines in the pipeline are potential first-in-class treatments that can help patients with serious unmet medical needs.

All I can say at this point is that the biopharmaceutical industry is eager and proud to be part of the solution to help meet some of the greatest health care challenges before us today and tomorrow.

But it is important to recognize that public policies at all levels of government have a tremendous impact on how successful all of us are in reaching new medical innovation milestones. For this very reason, a consistent public policy framework is needed to provide an environment that is conducive to advance biopharmaceutical research and discovery.

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