Biopharma Research Sector Leaders on the Issues and Challenges of the Day

Biopharma Research Sector Leaders on the Issues and Challenges of the Day

11.21.11 | By

I recommend taking a look at two interesting pieces that appeared in the press over the last couple of days.

The first is an interview with Eli Lilly CEO and Chairman, John Lechleiter that ran last Friday in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). Dr. Lechleiter gave the interview returning from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2011 meeting in Hawaii, and spent some time talking about the issues - and prospects - for America's economy and the future of America's biopharmaceutical research sector.

I was struck, in particular, by this thought about investment in new biopharmaceutical research because it really captures the moment we are in as well as what we have to lose in this country:

"There's no better investment that we can make than in biomedical research and in our health. This is not something that we're trying to steal away from someone else. This is not a nascent industry."

Check out the whole interview.

Also worth a look today is a op/ed by J. Martin Carroll, president and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical Inc. in the November 19 Harford Current. Mr. Carroll writes about the success of Medicare Part D, how important it has been for Medicare beneficiaries and their ability to access the medicines they need and how it has cost far less than anyone anticipated. He writes:

"Since its inception in 2006, by all accounts Medicare Part D has been a resounding success. More than 80 percent of the seniors are satisfied with the benefit, and the program has cost the government 41 percent less than what was initially forecast by the Congressional Budget Office. In addition, a new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School shows that Part D has decreased spending in hospitals and nursing homes by $1,200 for each new senior enrolled in the program who previously had limited or no drug coverage.

Most important, this successful program has enabled 30 million seniors to have affordable and comprehensive drug coverage, and their average monthly premiums are expected to decrease in 2012.

The consequences of imposing price controls in Medicare Part D would be severe. Part D enrollees would likely face higher premiums and increasingly restricted access to medicines. These price controls would also stifle innovation and result in fewer opportunities to develop new medicines for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer - the very diseases faced by many Part D enrollees."

Again, well worth your time to check out the whole piece.

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