Risky. Costly. Time consuming. Rewarding. Those few words help describe a biopharmaceutical ecosystem where 90% of all clinical development programs fail, but where lives are transformed each time a potential drug candidate crosses the R&D finish line. But as Dr. Ted Love, president and CEO of Global Therapeutics, explains in The San Diego Union-Tribune, biomedical innovation is thriving in the United States despite the ups and downs. As Dr. Love writes:
Thanks to a system in the United States that encourages and rewards investment and innovation, we are one of a handful of companies on the cusp of delivering breakthrough treatments for this devastating disease. This evolution did not happen by accident.
Our country is unique in that we foster an environment that allows innovators to take risks — and fail frequently — on the path to discovery. We have access to the private-sector capital necessary to make enormous investments in treatments and cures, and the rewards from our occasional breakthroughs help finance the next wave of innovation.
Patients today are benefiting from our “unique” system that encourages the cycle of innovation. But as Dr. Love notes, “some policymakers are losing sight of the need to foster future innovation as well as the extraordinary benefits created by life science companies.” He goes on to say:
All too often, the debate about drug prices overlooks the challenges and enormous amount of private funding required to develop transformative medicines. What isn’t fully discussed or understood are the unintended consequences of some of the policies that have been proposed, such as price controls or government seizure of the intellectual property from innovators.
These and other policy proposals would undoubtedly stall innovation into future treatments or restrict access to current treatments.
Patients with sickle cell disease — and thousands of other illnesses — are waiting for effective treatments. Yet many of the proposals floated to curb prescription drug costs could extend this wait.
That is why the biotech industry stands ready to work with policymakers on smart reforms that will help make prescription drugs more affordable for all patients. As Dr. Love concludes his opinion piece, “By focusing on holistic solutions, we can help make prescription drugs more affordable and ensure the future of biomedical innovation remains bright for everyone.”
You can read Dr. Love’s full opinion piece in the The San Diego Union-Tribune here.