Collaboration Moves Us Forward

I don’t know about you, but last week’s PhRMA annual meeting has me feeling energized for the future. The meeting was a particularly great reminder of the important role collaboration plays in our industry’s efforts to deliver safe and effective treatments to patients around the world. The word collaboration came up in different ways throughout the day, but what does it mean for our industry?

Collaboration means supporting public & private partnerships.

During his address at the meeting, Senator Cory Booker noted that our industry was one of the most “awesome contributions to humanity.” Senator Booker emphasized the need for Congress to fully fund the NIH. It reminded me of the crucial role collaboration plays in the relationship between publicly funded and privately owned research institutions. Discovering new medicines does not happen in an echo chamber. Partnerships, like the one between key industry stakeholders and the NIH, hold the key to bringing new medicines to patients faster.

Collaboration means policies that move us forward.

In his remarks, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor noted that the rapid pace of innovation in science meant that it was sometimes hard for a regulatory body to keep up. Despite these challenges, he noted that it was Congress’s job to support the industry’s efforts to improve access and discover treatments. Legislative support for innovative legislation, like the MODDERN Cures Act, could present patients suffering from rare diseases with much needed treatments. Congress also plays a crucial role in supporting policies that improve access to medicines, like Medicare Part D, which has delivered significant savings to America’s seniors.

Collaboration means innovation across borders.

Ensuring we have high-standard intellectual property protections in any negotiated trade agreement came throughout the day. When we talk about trade, we cannot overlook the role of collaboration. At their core, trade agreements represent a partnership. Ensuring that our agreements meet a few crucial standards for IP will help drive innovation on a global scale.

As current PhRMA Board Chairman Robert Hugin said, “identifying solutions” was the main goal of the annual meeting. While we have a lot of work to do to enact these solutions, working together and harnessing the collaborative spirit will certainly push us to address, and resolve, the global health challenges we face today.