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ICYMI: Making Biopharmaceutical Innovation a Priority of the Next Administration

September 6, 2016
Last week, Astellas Americas President Jim Robinson wrote an op-ed in Forbes exploring, “How The Next Administration Embraces Medical Invention.” He calls for “understanding, appreciation, and investment” in the complex sciences curing cancers and debilitating conditions. Robinson points out that we are living in an age where the death rates from cardiovascular disease have dropped, where there is a cure for hepatitis C, and the five-year survival rate for cancer continues to climb ever higher – all the fruits of past investment in risky and costly biopharmaceutical research. As he says:
Without question, we are in the midst of the most consequential period of medical invention and discovery that I’ve experienced in my lifetime. As a result of incremental breakthroughs over time, “science fiction” is becoming “science real.”

As the next president of the United States takes office, Robinson proposes that the administration take on a “promise of invention and discovery” mindset. This should be a priority for the U.S. so we can continue advances in life-saving treatments and cures. He offers three questions as guiding principles to shape this mentality for future innovation:

  • How can the patient be the center focus of every decision?

  • What if medical innovation was a key element of our nation’s economic and global competitiveness strategy?

  • Can we align public policy priorities with the prospect of achieving new breakthroughs?

We are closer than ever to a world without disease. In order to accomplish that goal, there needs to be enthusiasm and support for innovation from our next administration as cures become more difficult and expensive to create.
As a nation, we shouldn’t delay or deprioritize the steps that separate us from the breakthrough treatment or cure for any number of devastating and costly diseases.

Regardless of the outcome in this year’s election, as a nation we must not lose momentum and ensure we find a way to keep pace with the incredible scientific advancements happening right before our eyes.

Read the full op-ed here.