The U.S. has made amazing strides as a medical innovator over the last four decades. As our CEO, John Lechleiter, wrote Tuesday on Forbes.com:
"During the 1970s, four large European countries -- France, Germany, Switzerland, and the U.K. -- accounted for 55 percent of new medicines produced by major nations, while the U.S. share was 31 percent.....in the most recent decade, 2001 to 2010, there was a complete reversal of fortune, with the U.S. producing 57 percent of newer medicines while the four European countries' share fell to 33 percent."
There are many reasons for the change in course. The U.S. has protected an environment that encourages medical innovation, while Europe, as John wrote, "has adopted policies that undermine innovation, including burdensome assessment processes that make it difficult to obtain market access and adequate reimbursement for new medicines."
The point? We simply cannot undo the public policies that allow biopharmaceutical companies and other innovators to find better treatments for diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's (the latter, in particular, is a medical and financial tsunami waiting to happen). From balanced corporate tax policies to free market pricing to a modernized regulatory environment, we must position ourselves for future innovative advancements.
The U.S. has slipped a little of late across some global measurements. Protecting and enhancing our policy environment -- and re-engaging future innovators in math and science -- can help reverse the more recent trend and re-establish our global position. You can read more in John's column.