Overcoming Obstacles to Future Innovation

Overcoming Obstacles to Future Innovation

07.15.14 | By John Castellani

What would happen if the pace of medical innovation in the U.S. slowed or halted altogether? Imagine the treatments and cures that will never come, for Alzheimer’s, for Parkinson’s, for cancers of all kinds.  Imagine also the economic impact: on productivity, on medical costs for people who have conditions without good treatments, on a biopharmaceutical industry that accounts for nearly one out of every five dollars spent on R&D by U.S. businesses and that supports $790 billion in total annual economic activity.

Because we don’t want to imagine such a future, PhRMA strongly supports the goals of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures initiative under the leadership of Chairman Fred Upton and Representative Diana DeGette, which aims to accelerate the development of medical breakthroughs.  Accelerating the translation of scientific knowledge into new health solutions is more important than ever before because, as a recent Deloitte study reveals, the industry faces many challenges in terms of sustaining and advancing innovation and protecting the health and happiness of America’s patients. 

Recent trends highlighted in the new Deloitte report show we’re facing an uphill battle in terms of creating scientific, regulatory, coverage and intellectual property (IP) environments that advance biopharmaceutical innovation.

When assessing these challenges, they must be considered both individually and as a whole. A setback in a single area is detrimental, but each is dependent upon the others.

The 21st Century Cures initiative examines how we can improve the discovery, development, and delivery of new medicines for patients, which is a first step toward mitigating some of the potential threats to continued medical advances. The Deloitte study underscores the biopharmaceutical sector’s challenges and highlights the urgent need for both policymakers and individuals throughout the health care ecosystem to address these uncertainties and create a pro-innovation environment. We look forward to working with the Committee and other stakeholders to ensure a policy environment that promotes the discovery, development and delivery of tomorrow’s cures. 

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