Partnering to Help Improve the U.S. Economy

Partnering to Help Improve the U.S. Economy

04.26.12 | By Jennifer Wall

There has been a lot of talk lately in the run-up to the election about the economy and what types of policies are needed to improve the outlook of our nation. I've found that in almost every election year, we hear a whole host of proposals offered that both Republicans and Democrats claim can provide some sort of silver bullet to our economic woes. But we all know there is no silver bullet, especially if we remain so divided as a nation on what type of solutions are needed to provide a more economically secure future.

I can tell you that as a mother to an 11-month old daughter, I am greatly concerned about her future. I constantly ask myself will she be healthy? Will she have the same or even better opportunities to excel in life that I have had? And importantly, what steps can be taken to ensure that she doesn't have to shoulder the burden of all our nation's debts? This is what I always keep in mind when I hear talk about the health of our economy and what type of proposals can provide a more sustainable pathway for future generations to have a better life.

Most people know me as a skeptic and that I sometimes lean on the side of pessimism, but I am truly hopeful that we can all put our differences aside and provide a stronger foundation for our children. But in order to do so our nation's leaders must pursue consistent policy frameworks that support innovative sectors in the U.S. - for these sectors are the job-creators and engines of economic growth.

If we don't have a healthy industrial base, including R&D intensive-industries such as the biopharmaceutical sector, our nation will surely lose its standing as the world leader in innovation and ingenuity, as other countries desperate to gain this title will surely move ahead in the game of economic chess and have the privilege of saying checkmate.

But this can be prevented, particularly as we hear news today of the White House unveiling its so-called "Bioeconomy Blueprint," which is intended to help guide Federal agencies as they partner with one another and private industry on ways to enhance economic growth and job creation. In its press release, the White House rightly recognized that "the life sciences have proven to be a remarkably vital source of economic growth," and we couldn't agree more - for our sector alone supports nearly four million jobs in the U.S.

While we're taking a close look at this plan, I should note that PhRMA previously responded to a request by the White House to help them develop a robust bioeconomy and in doing so, we highlighted the necessary steps toward innovation growth. In our comments, we recommended that it is essential for the public and private sectors to work together to strengthen the science base to meet 21st century challenges, advance innovation policies as a solution to health system problems, sustain U.S. global leadership in the biosciences through economic trade and related policies, support strong IP rights and enforcement in the U.S. and abroad, and build a highly skilled and educated biosciences workforce.

These pillars are essential to helping spur innovation, key to addressing a broad range of health challenges and critical to help grow jobs and strengthen the U.S. economy.

The whole notion of partnerships has been a key theme for the biopharmaceutical industry lately, as the science evolves and becomes more complex. But this goes beyond just our sector - we must put politics aside for a moment and partner as a nation to meet the great challenges that lay before us. If we don't, it will surely be a bumpy road to recovery and my daughter's future will not be as bright.

Follow Jen on Twitter @JenAtPhRMA

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