Washington, D.C. (February 2, 2011) — The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Senior Vice President Wes Metheny today released the following statement:
“Senator Leahy’s patent reform bill would strengthen the patent system while protecting patent owners and maintaining incentives for innovation. The bill balances the diverse interests of various stakeholders across American business sectors while maintaining strong and reliable intellectual property protection. A strong patent system is crucial to America’s economic competitiveness and our global leadership in medical innovation, especially in these economically trying times.
“The U.S. patent system provides American businesses with incentives that drive innovation and create jobs across the country. By creating a positive environment for innovative R&D, the patent system encourages the development of ideas into life- changing products and further encourages the ideas of the future.
“This couldn’t be more true than in the biopharmaceutical research sector. In a field where the development of an average new medicine can take 10-15 years and cost more than $1.3 billion, the incentives provided by intellectual property play a key role in encouraging this costly – and risky – investment.
“In the end, the benefits are great. Life expectancy is at an all-time high and previously life-threatening diseases are now viewed as controllable conditions, largely on the strength of the innovative R&D taking place through America’s biopharmaceutical sector. Meanwhile, the sector – one of the most research-intensive in the world – employs more than 650,000 direct biopharmaceutical workers and supports a total of more than 3 million jobs.
“America’s biopharmaceutical research companies have a real and significant effect on healthcare and on the economy. This just wouldn’t be true without a reliable and predictable patent system.
“Senator Leahy’s bill – and the support of its cosponsors – demonstrates their appreciation for the importance of intellectual property protection to the U.S. economy and to the jobs – and life-saving innovation – that it provides.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $45.8 billion in 2009 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.3 billion in 2009.
PhRMA Internet Address: http://www.phrma.org
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: http://www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: http://www.pparx.org
For information on the danger of imported drugs, visit: http://www.buysafedrugs.info
For more information on public health emergencies, visit http://www.rxresponse.org