Medicines in the Pipeline Inspire Hope

Medicines in the Pipeline Inspire Hope

01.17.13 | By John Castellani

5,000 plus new medicines in the R&D pipeline: when we talk about "Research, Progress, Hope," that's what we mean.

A robust biopharmaceutical R&D pipeline is critical to help patients confront disease and to help us build a better, more effective healthcare system. Our industry is helping advance health and scientific discovery thanks, in part, to a policy environment that enables medical innovation to flourish. Public policies that value intellectual property, a strong regulatory system, and free market access for patients are critical to a robust innovation ecosystem and new progress in the fight against disease.

A PhRMA supported report - "Innovation in the Biopharmaceutical Pipeline: A Multidimensional View"- looks at the range of research now underway at America's biopharmaceutical research companies. It found:

  • 70% are potentially first in class (as high as 80% in neurology and cancer, thanks to new scientific approaches and technologies);
  • Personalized medicines and drugs for rare diseases are a rapidly growing part of the pipeline;
  • Researchers are pursuing many new scientific approaches such as conjugated monoclonal antibodies and therapeutic cancer vaccines; and,
  • Many of the new medicines in the pipeline are being developed for diseases for which no new therapies have been approved in the last decade -- 158 potential medicines for ovarian cancer and 41 for small cell lung cancer.

Critically, innovative medicines play an increasingly important role in healthcare affecting both the health of individual patients and the nation:

  • HIV/AIDS treatments have helped transform the disease from an acute, fatal illness into a chronic condition;
  • Medicines have helped reduce cardiovascular deaths by 1/3 in just the last decade; and,
  • Medicines have played a big role in helping reduce cancer death rates by 20% over the last 20 years.

They also help curb health care spending by preventing hospitalizations, surgeries and other care. This is important, especially looking to the future:

Fortunately, there's been some important recent success coming out of the pipeline. The FDA approved 39 novel medicines last year for patients confronting a wide-range of conditions - the largest number of new approvals in 16 years.

Biopharmaceutical R&D is a long, costly process. But it is contributing to better care, helping to treat, cure and prevent disease and giving patients real hope for a healthier tomorrow.

View PhRMA's webinar for the release of the report here.

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