The Bridge Between the Fiscal Cliff and Alzheimer's -- Merck's Ken Frazier

The Bridge Between the Fiscal Cliff and Alzheimer's -- Merck's Ken Frazier

12.17.12 | By

A guest post today on Forbes.com by Merck Chairman, President and CEO Ken Frazier puts the fiscal cliff and medical innovation in an interesting perspective.

For many of us, it's hard to know what the ramifications of the fiscal cliff discussions or proposed policies may have on our day-to-day lives, our health or our economic prosperity. Not necessarily just in the coming years, but in the decades ahead.

For biopharmaceutical innovators and patients, it's a central question. Mr. Frazier explains how short-term decisions can have a meaningful impact on future R&D, providing as an example his company's ongoing work on a therapy for Alzheimer's disease. (Of note, Merck's BACE inhibitor team was one of the recipients of PhRMA's inaugural Research and Hope Awards earlier this year.)

Alzheimer's, perhaps more than any other disease state, exemplifies the importance of biopharmaceutical innovation when it comes to muting or even halting the disease's projected impact on human lives and our nation's economy. And it demonstrates the need for consistent policies and regulations that nurture and encourage continued innovation in the face of daunting scientific hurdles.

As Mr. Frazier says in his conclusion: "Yes, we have to make some tough choices to address our immediate and long-term deficit. But, how we make these choices is just as important to creating the stability and predictability that can put our nation on a sustainable path to long-term fiscal responsibility and economic prosperity."

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