Now Is the Time for R&D

Now Is the Time for R&D

02.13.13 | By

During the State of the Union last night, President Obama emphasized that "now is not the time to cut...job-creating investments in science and innovation," and we agree. The biopharmaceutical industry knows that investing in research and development creates jobs and strengthens the U.S. economy, but we also have a keen understanding of the challenges that lie ahead. It took more than a decade to map the human genome, and we need public policies that make innovation a priority.

Research!America CEO Mary Wooley also agreed. In a statement, she applauded the president for "underscoring medical research as a national priority," and praised his call to increase investment in science and innovation. She concluded, "The president's emphasis on STEM and medical research reflects the sentiments of large majorities of the American public and should not only register bipartisan applause lines but translate into the elimination of sequestration and the launch of a new Moon Shot befitting the global R&D leadership of our nation."

The U.S. is the world leader in innovation and R&D, and we must ensure it remains that way. New products and innovations don't happen overnight: it can take upwards of a decade and more than a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market, and that's just for drugs that make it from the research phase through FDA approvals. A huge investment in time, money and people must be made before an innovator recoups a single dollar. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested $500 billion in R&D, and there are more than 5,000 new medicines in the pipeline - approximately 70 percent of which are potentially first in class.

We will continue to invest heavily in R&D because it creates jobs, helps people live long, healthy lives and helps save patients and the government money. To remain a world leader in innovation, however, we need to work together to ensure public policies truly support innovation, our scientists, and U.S. competitiveness.

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