Biomedical innovation is vital to America’s health and economic well-being. The new Administration has the opportunity to lead in research and innovation, and construct policies to maintain the country’s strength and productivity, says Margaret Anderson, executive director of FasterCures. The organization convened leaders from the research and patient communities on December 8 for the webinar, “Opportunities for the Next Administration to Advance Biomedical Innovation.”
Anderson, moderator of the discussion, introduced the Rx for Innovation project, which developed a set of recommendations for the incoming Administration to improve the biomedical innovation system. The report synthesized interviews of 152 thought leaders across the biomedical research ecosystem, providing recommendations across seven categories: system-level action, patient centricity, regulatory resources, translational science, clinical trials, data and access to innovation.
Guest speaker Patrick White, president of ACT for NIH, discussed the importance of funding for the National Institutes of Health. “We must make sure that NIH has steady and sustained growth. We must enable scientific risk-taking, and assure them there is continued, growing and sustained funding which encourages people to take risks,” said White.
Mary Dwight, senior vice president for policy and patient programs, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, added “We would not have the treatment options we have today without NIH-funded basic research on the cystic fibrosis gene.”
Anderson described how citizens could be more engaged in the regulatory process. “The hashtag #HealthCitizenship is a movement to mobilize citizens, whether they’re healthy or not, to engage with the innovation system in new and important ways,” she said. In addition to regulatory decision-making, patient centricity can also be an important tool for assessing the value of a medical product.
Dwight shared that the collection of post-approval real-world evidence has shown very positive outcomes for new cystic fibrosis therapies and increased access for patients, but noted, “We’re not done until everyone can benefit from innovation.”