Innovations and Inaugurations: President Obama

Innovations and Inaugurations: President Obama

01.18.13 | By

As President Barack Obama prepares to take the oath of office for a second time, a new report shows how vitally important it is to continue pursuing policies that promote continued biopharmaceutical innovation and medical progress.

Innovation is important to me both professionally and personally - my life was saved in 1999 and 2000 by a chemotherapy that defeated my hairy cell leukemia and antibiotics that prevented an infection from killing me.

The new report - "Innovation in the Biopharmaceutical Pipeline: A Multidimensional View" by the Analysis Group - emphasizes the tremendous ongoing innovation and medical progress of recent years:

  • About 300 new prescription medicines have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration over the last decade.
  • More than 5,000 additional new medicines are in development globally.
  • Researchers are targeting the most debilitating diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular (CVD) diseases, diabetes, mental illnesses, infections, neurological disorders and HIV/AIDS.
  • Rare diseases are also being targeted - nearly three times as many drugs for rare conditions are in the development pipeline compared to a decade ago.
  • About 70 percent of the treatments being developed today are potentially first-in-class medications.
  • Cutting-edge personalized medicines are a growing part of the pipeline.

PhRMA's biopharmaceutical research member companies have invested more than $500 billion in research and development since 2000 as researchers seek to continue the progress against disease made in recent years and over the past several decades:

  • The American Cancer Society has estimated that by January 1, 2022, there will be almost 18 million cancer survivors in the United States, up from 13.7 million survivors in January 2012. What is clear is that much of the progress against cancer is due to the development of new medicines - the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in 2011, identified 12 major cancer treatment advances with the potential to reduce cancer mortality, including 10 related to new medicines, better ways to use medicines or newly approved drugs.
  • The American Heart Association says cardiovascular death rates fell 28 percent between 1997 and 2007, due in large part to improved treatments.
  • Diabetes patients can now expect to live longer than those diagnosed a decade or two ago and improved use of medicines can cut the risk of hospitalization by half.

For our companies - the leaders in biopharmaceutical innovation - to achieve even more milestones on the road to a healthier world, it's important that all key stakeholders work together to:

  • Promote medical innovation as a solution for improving patient health and controlling health care costs.
  • Support coverage and reimbursement policies that enhance the introduction and availability of new medical advances.
  • Support strong intellectual property rights at a time when it costs an average of $1.2 billion to develop a new drug.
  • Sustain U.S. biosciences world leadership through economic and trade policies that promote a competitive level playing field in global markets.
  • More efficiently integrate emerging scientific data and innovative research approaches into the development and review of new medicines.

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