Why the American economy needs biotech

January 21, 2020
America’s third-ever impeachment trial begins…and POTUS is hangin' in the Swiss Alps.  While Washington’s focused on impeachment, we're taking a look at Trump's speech at Davos as well as new health care spending data, in 819 words, or 2 minutes, 59 seconds. 

America’s third-ever impeachment trial begins…and POTUS is hangin' in the Swiss Alps. 

While Washington’s focused on impeachment, we're taking a look at Trump's speech at Davos as well as new health care spending data, in 819 words, or 2 minutes, 59 seconds. 

Why the American economy needs biotech

Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, President Trump outlined American economic successes as well as goals for the coming year and decade—and while he didn’t quite spell it out, we feel it’s important to note achieving many of these goals will depend on biotech. 

About the event: The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters in Switzerland, more commonly known as “Davos,” brings together policymakers, business leaders and activists from around the world to talk about how to make the world a better place—everyone from Trump to teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, who spoke before AND after Trump. 

What Trump said: In his speech, he hyped the booming American economy and jobs, and outlined new goals on jobs, trade, energy, and innovation—many of which will require research and investment from America’s biotech industry.

Take energy. He said the United States is “boldly embracing American energy independence” as “by far, the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world,” calling out “traditional fuels, LNG, clean coal, next-generation nuclear power, and gas hydrate technologies…”

But he failed to explicitly mention the important role of biofuels in energy independence, especially as we need to reduce our dependence on those very fossil fuels to tackle climate change. 

He also wants to plant more trees. He announced the United States will join the 1 Trillion Trees Initiative, a global initiative to plant one trillion trees and sequester 200 gigatons of carbon in 10 years.

This, too, will depend on biotech. Pests, disease, and climate change are threatening all kinds of trees, including orange trees and cacao trees—but unless we invest in and support innovations like genome editing, these trees literally may not be able to grow.

In conclusion: “The great scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century, from penicillin to high-yield wheat to modern transportation and breakthrough vaccines have lifted living standards and saved billions of lives around the world, and we’re continuing to work on things that you’ll be hearing about in the near future, that even today, sitting here right now, you wouldn’t believe it’s possible”—all thanks, of course, to biotech.


More Agriculture & Environment News: 

The Washington Post: Trump administration further undercuts Obama school-lunch rules
“On Friday, USDA Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps proposed new rules for the Food and Nutrition Service that would allow schools to cut the amount of vegetables and fruits required at lunch and breakfasts while giving them license to sell more pizza, burgers and fries to students.”


Drug spending is not driving up health care costs…but you already knew that.

You know how policymakers keep talking about drug prices and blaming the pharmaceutical industry for rising out-of-pocket costs? Well, once again, new data shows that, when it comes to health care spending, prescription drugs aren’t the biggest problem.

The findings: The Altarum Center for Value in Health Care released the latest Health Sector Economic Indicators, finding national health spending in November 2019 was 5.4% higher than spending in November 2018. 

But prescription drug spending was a FRACTION of other categories. Prescription drug spending was $369 billion, just 9% of total health care spending in November, while hospital spending was $1.291 trillion (33%), physician and clinical services were $757 billion (19%).

And spending on hospital care is up, growing the most rapidly among all categories, at 7.7%...

Alex Argues: “Once again, the numbers show that prescription drugs represent a small portion of overall health care spending – especially when compared with hospital and physician services. Politicians should be working to address the real drivers of rising health care costs, rather than targeting innovative drug developers with price controls and dangerous importation schemes.” – Alex Keeton, BIO’s Director of Policy Research and Analytics

More Health Care News:

Roll Call: Hoyer says House priorities for 2020 include health care, infrastructure, climate, redistricting
“Hoyer said it’s ‘possible’ the House could act on surprise billing legislation before May but noted that leadership hasn’t set a time frame. Democrats passed HR 3 in December to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, but they may have to follow up.”

The New York Times: Health care costs are rising. Fund returns are less reliable.
“In 2019, the industry’s performance was not quite as strong as the overall stock market’s. Some managers point to political uncertainty over health insurance and drug prices.”

World Economic Forum: Why developing new antibiotics is a matter of life and death
Kasim Kutay, CEO of BIO member Novo Holdings, explains.

BIO Beltway Report

President Trump’s Tuesday: As the impeachment trial begins in Washington, Trump’s in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting—along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner. 

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: The House is in recess, but the Senate is back to work, with the impeachment trial slated to begin at 1:00 PM ET.

Paragraph (normal) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus sample link.