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Eli Lilly CEO: Four Keys to Spur Innovation

April 23, 2012
8:23 am

In a Forbes commentary, Eli Lilly and Company CEO John Lechleiter underscores the need for new medicines and medical technologies to provide better healthcare to our aging society.  While U.S. healthcare innovators have an unmatched history of success in saving and improving lives – testing more potential new medicines each year than the rest of the world combined – the challenges posed by illnesses like diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases threaten millions of people throughout the world.  And, unless successfully addressed, they will place unprecedented stress on our healthcare system.

In his Forbes op-ed, Lechleiter outlines four vital components that must be in place in order to have a vibrant, successful “innovation ecosystem” to tackle these illnesses.  They include:

  • Intellectual property protection to enable scientists and investors to stay in the business of innovation.
  • Open access to healthcare markets, a component that is threatened by new public policies like the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which could slash Medicare spending and limit seniors’ access to healthcare innovations.
  • Free-market pricing, which hinges on the avoidance of real or de facto government price controls on medical innovators.
  • A regulatory system that is “timely, predictable, consistent, transparent and scientifically rigorous.”

The agenda Lechleiter has outlined should be at the forefront of Washington, DC health policy discussion.  As he put it, entirely correctly, “Our policymakers must do everything they can to….ensure that the dreams and discoveries of today turn into the lifesaving treatments of tomorrow.”

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