U.S. Leads in Medical Innovation
As CEO of a global health-care company that interacts with different systems around the world, I can attest that the United States does many things well. Most notably, we foster an environment that encourages the discovery of lifesaving medicines and treatments.
As Congress and the Obama administration debate health-care reform, they must seek to preserve and promote the development of new medicines and treatments in the U.S. to spur continued medical advances for the future.
To do so, the following should be considered:
Market competition: The United States leads the world in creating new medicines, and we must continue this drive for medical advances. Today, for example, pharmaceutical and biotech companies are researching 800 medicines and vaccines for cancer alone. History reveals how a competitive pharmaceutical market can produce important results in the battle against this disease: since 1980, life expectancy for cancer patients has increased about three years, and 83 percent of those gains are attributable to new treatments, including medicines.
Innovation: Health policy that rewards the biopharmaceutical industry's innovation will not only encourage scientists to continue pushing the boundaries of current medical research, but will also benefit the economy. Last year, U.S. pharmaceutical companies spent $65 billion on R&D, and more than 3.2 million jobs have ties to our industry.
FDA Resources: We all rely on the agency to help bring safe and effective medicines from the laboratory to patients in a consistent, systematic way. Appropriate funding, technology and human capital is critical to ensuring that the FDA can match the swift pace of medical and scientific innovation.
As the debate on health reform unfolds, our elected officials must strike a delicate balance between changing the current system to address its weaknesses and protecting America's lead in the search for new medical cures and treatments.
Posted by: lensch | July 6, 2009 4:07 PM
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