Week in Review: Medical Innovation – Past, Present and Future

Week in Review: Medical Innovation – Past, Present and Future

01.18.13 By Kaelan Hollon 

For many in the nation’s capital, this week was spent gearing up for Inauguration Day (Monday, January 21). Every four years, this includes a look back at our history and time-honored traditions. Recognizing the critical role of medical innovation and importance of learning from where we’ve been, PhRMA spent this past week highlighting the last century of medical innovation milestones and the impact they continue to have in helping millions of patients worldwide.

From Presidents Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama, our bloggers weighed in on both the Catalyst and PhRMA Pinterest page to discuss these historic achievements, the importance of ongoing collaboration and the work that remains to be done in the future.

On Thursday, we released a new report that looks into the more than 5,000 medicines currently in research and development in the United States (“Innovation in the Biopharmaceutical Pipeline: A Multidimensional View”). Of particular note, the report found that 70 percent of medicines in the pipeline are potentially first-in-class, and many are being developed for diseases and conditions that have not seen new therapies for more than a decade.

During a live webinar, John Castellani, PhRMA President and CEO, joined together with Dr. John Lechleiter, Chairman, President and CEO of Eli Lilly (also PhRMA Board Chairman), to discuss the outcomes of the report and the promising future of medical innovation. Castellani also reviewed the report’s key findings in a Catalyst post, where he noted the significance of research and development:

“A robust biopharmaceutical R&D pipeline is critical to help patients confront disease and to help us build a better, more effective healthcare system. Our industry is helping advance health and scientific discovery thanks, in part, to a policy environment that enables medical innovation to flourish.”

Also this week, Mark Grayson commented on the importance of clinical trials in India, pointing to a recent post by Jay Taylor, Vice President of International at PhRMA. The need for clinical trial participation in India is two-fold:  First, the death rate for enrolled patients is approximately half of the death rate for the country’s general population. Second, clinical trial participation is a necessary factor for the future of medical innovation globally.

As we stated in last week’s review, medical innovation and related issues will continue to be front and center across 2013. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on how innovation has changed over the years and encourage you to leave comments and check The Catalyst regularly for news and updates on the biopharmaceutical industry.



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