#PhRMA12: Opportunities Abound, Say Viehbacher and Lechleiter

#PhRMA12: Opportunities Abound, Say Viehbacher and Lechleiter

04.13.12 | By Kate Connors

In their moderated discussion this morning, outgoing PhRMA Chairman Christopher Viehbacher (from Sanofi) and incoming PhRMA Chairman John Lechleiter (from Eli Lilly and Company) discussed ways that companies can maximize different types of opportunities.

Of course, in the biopharmaceutical sector, science is key. As Viechbacher said, the promise of the research happening now is built on knowledge we've developed in the past: "Most of our success in the 1990s was based on targets that came out of research in the1970s and 1980s. Now we've got new targets coming out of NIH and it's opening up opportunities everywhere. If we can come up with new models, we can capitalize on these opportunities."

Lechleiter concurred: "There's a sense in the room today of much more optimism than pessimism. People critical of how much R&D we've spent in a last decade with what they call diminished returns are looking in the rear-view mirror. I'm encouraged by the way that large companies, small companies, government and academia can work together."

He also highlighted the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which is working with many PhRMA members as well as other stakeholders, as an opportunity to improve the way that we get medicines to patients.

Both agreed that increased collaboration with patients can also help open doors to both research and access, as well.

As Viehbacher said generally, but significantly: "There are enough opportunities to go around."

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateAtPhRMA.

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