Press Release

PhRMA Applauds President Obama For Supporting Innovation

PhRMA July 2, 2009

Washington, D.C. (July 2, 2009) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO Billy Tauzin released the following statement regarding President Obama’s remarks about the importance of innovation:

“We applaud President Obama for recognizing that American ingenuity and innovation are critical to help our economy grow and thrive. The President’s remarks today reinforced the fact that the strength of the U.S. economy hinges on our ability to remain vibrant leaders in the research and development of innovative products – such as life-enhancing medicines – that advance and improve our way of life.

“As we begin preparations for celebrating Independence Day, we must also celebrate the fact that we are making great strides in the war against disease and are able to spend more time with family members and friends who fought hard and won their own battle against disease.

“Thanks, in part, to the men and women working in pharmaceutical research laboratories across America, life expectancy rates in the U.S. have increased nearly 10 years over the past half century. Heart failure and heart attack deaths have declined by 45 percent in the past decade and HIV/AIDS deaths dropped by nearly 70 percent since the introduction of the first antiretroviral treatments. What’s more, life expectancy for cancer patients has increased by 3 years since 1980.

“Earlier this year, President Obama called for a cure to cancer in our lifetime. Finding the cures will take the collective talents of publicly-funded researchers and a lot of great academic work, but it will be the scientists who work for our companies who will innovate, develop and clinically test the actual vaccines and therapies that will one day help us win the war against cancer. The good news is that there are currently more than 800 new cancer medicines in the pipeline to help patients battling this disease live longer, healthier and more productive lives.

“The fuel feeding the engines of growth must not dry up through policies that disincentivize innovation. R&D investment by the biopharmaceutical sector is an important engine for long term economic growth: the sector’s direct contribution to GDP in 2006 was $88.5 billion, triple the average contribution from sectors in the rest of the economy. Through the ripple effect of the sector’s economic impact, every dollar that biopharmaceutical companies contributed to GDP supports another $2.33 in contribution to GDP from other sectors.

“America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies remain committed to helping the U.S. remain the world leader in innovation. With President Obama’s pledge to help keep our innovative spirit intact, we can collectively make this happen.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.

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