The Hill’s Congress Blog: Innovation in medicine isn’t optional – it’s imperative

Earlier this week, The Hill’s Congress Blog posted an op-ed penned by Andrew von Eschenbach and Paul Howard entitled, “Innovation in medicine isn’t optional – it’s imperative” highlighting the importance of encouraging innovation and preserving incentives for drug development.

The authors recommend increased cooperation and collaboration between industry, academia, and regulators, in addition to recognition by the federal government that ‘a vibrant life-sciences industry will generate higher national productivity, lower total health care costs, and technological “spillovers” that will benefit almost every other industrial sector, from agriculture to defense.’

In addition to the statistics cited in the article, it may be interesting to note that only two in 10 approved drugs are commercially successful and produce revenue that exceeds their R&D cost. Furthermore, a recent study published in Nature Biotechnology – Clinical Development Success Rates for Investigational Drugs – found that only one in 10 drugs in development are ultimately approved (note: BIO co-authored the study).

We echo the need to accelerate the pace of innovative breakthroughs, and reiterate that it isn’t optional – it’s imperative. Many of the most promising next generation technologies are being commercialized by small, pre-revenue companies. One policy which would encourage investment in these innovative companies is the Start-up Jobs and Innovation Act, which would allow investors to claim the losses these companies generate while bringing a product to market. Patients are waiting on these innovations, and in many cases, these treatments and cures are indeed their only hope.

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