The U.S. currently leads the world in medical innovation. But for how long?

The U.S. currently leads the world in medical innovation. But for how long?

05.17.12 | By

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The U.S. currently leads the world in medical innovation. But for how long? This is a question we must all ask ourselves today with the release of a new report by Battelle focusing on what other countries are doing to lure biopharmaceutical research away from the U.S. [Read the summary]

The epicenter for biopharmaceutical research and development (R&D) is right here in our own backyard. And the tens of billions of dollars our industry spends every year on innovating new medicines is just one part of the equation. Our industry also supports millions of jobs in the U.S. and contributes significantly to local, state and national economies.

Leaders in other countries recognize all the potential that our industry has to offer in terms of economic and jobs growth, and for this reason, there has been a concerted effort on their part to attract our industry through pro-innovation policies and programs. In fact, nearly all of the countries examined in the report have national innovation strategies and half have a separate strategy focused on seizing the economic potential of the biopharmaceutical sector. In the U.S., there is no overarching strategy to promote innovation or to help sustain and grow high-value, high-wage industries like the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry.

PhRMA's President and CEO John Castellani was quoted in a Bloomberg article today saying, "As we go around the world, we are seeing countries develop very aggressive innovation strategies. We don't see the U.S. doing the same thing." So what exactly can Congress do to help ensure that biopharmaceutical R&D stays in the U.S.?

An important step is supporting a consistent policy framework that focuses on medical innovation at the national level. And such a framework should provide regulatory certainty (PDUFA reauthorization is a step in the right direction), ensure patient choice and access to medicines (maintain the competitive model of Medicare Part D), and incentivize future research and development (a good example is making permanent the R&D tax credit).

What do you think we need to do to assure continued U.S leadership in medical innovation?

The full press release can be found here.

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