In a recent Bloomberg interview, Microsoft founder and noted philanthropist Bill Gates debunked much of the recent criticism of the biopharmaceutical industry and the drug pricing system in the United States, stating:
“The current system is better than most other systems one can imagine … The drug companies are turning out miracles, and we need their R&D budgets to stay strong. They need to see the opportunity.”
Gates also praised the innovations that are coming from the biopharma industry—namely ones that have cured Hepatitis C. He said, “Curing hepatitis C, this is a phenomenal thing, and now you have multiple drug companies competing in terms of the quality and the price of that offering.”
And he’s exactly right.
While some may focus on a few bad actors, the biopharmaceutical industry, as a whole, has provided lifesaving innovations to millions. Whether it’s curing Hepatitis C, taking HIV/AIDS from a death sentence to a treatable condition, or the major advances in cancer treatments, the results speak for themselves.
But there is so much more work to do. As Gates said, it’s critical that research and development for both successes and failures is adequately funded to provide for the next generation of cures. And yet, we also encourage continued innovation and investment to fuel the thriving, but delicate biopharmaceutical ecosystem.
The work Gates and his foundation has done to promote public health, working with biopharmaceutical companies to provide lifesaving drugs to people in impoverished nations, has been nothing short of revolutionary.
It’s the same type of partnership from all stakeholders that is needed to ensure all patients in this country get access to the medicines and therapies they need. BIO stands ready to work with anyone who is serious about finding a solution, and welcomes Mr. Gates’ involvement.