As budget talks aimed at raising the federal debt ceiling move to the presidential level this week, CNBC came to the 2011 BIO International Convention to interview BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood about the role biotech can play in lowering the U.S. budget deficit.
“There are 10,000 baby boomers entering Medicare every day. What if fewer of them were sick? What if fewer of them had cardiovascular disease and cancer and Alzheimer’s and diabetes?” Greenwood asked. “That would drive down the cost of Medicare astronomically. If you could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by five years, you’d save Medicare $50 billion a year. That’s what biotechnology companies do.”
The FDA does not have the human resources or the expertise it needs to keep pace with the advances being made in the biotech industry. BIO is announcing a 5-year plan that will spur innovation in the biotech industry as well as hasten the FDA approval and regulatory process (details coming soon).
The faster we can get new treatments to market, the faster we lower health care costs in the U.S. and get the nation back on a path to fiscal health.