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Senator Arlen Specter and Richard Gephardt Headline Policy Forum on U.S. Medical Innovation, Highlight Achieving 'Recovery Through Discovery'

Council for American Medical Innovation Unveils Policy Agenda at Event Co-Sponsored by The Aspen Institute

WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Political leaders and health policy, research and biotechnology experts gathered at a forum today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to address the economic impact of policies related to U.S. medical innovation at the "Best & Brightest Forum on Medical Innovation: Achieving Recovery Through Discovery." The Council for American Medical Innovation and The Aspen Institute co-hosted the event. Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) delivered the keynote address, in which he spoke about the enormous potential for growth in life sciences and medicine to help the economy recover and prosper.




"It is critical to both our nation's health and economy that Congress actively supports medical research and innovation," said Senator Arlen Specter. "Federal funding and policies are vital components in encouraging scientific discoveries that have the potential to cure the world's diseases."

The Council for American Medical Innovation came together this year with a common goal of adopting and promoting a national policy agenda aimed at preserving U.S. leadership in medical innovation. At the forum, Richard Gephardt, former Democratic majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and a founder and the president of the Council, announced new details on the organization's consensus-based policy platform.

"Today's policy decisions will have a long-term impact on the future of medical innovation in the United States," said Gephardt. "The Council for American Medical Innovation believes that policies supporting research and medical discovery must be put in place to achieve breakthroughs in cancer and other devastating illnesses, create millions of high-paying jobs, and maintain U.S. competitiveness. Our policy agenda lays out clear objectives and changes that, when implemented by Congress, will spur recovery of the U.S. economy, and improve the health of all Americans."

The Council's policy platform is based on the knowledge that America benefits tremendously from its leadership position in medical innovation and the life sciences. American medical innovators create millions of jobs and make discoveries that are integral to the fight to cure cancer and other illnesses. Yet recent studies show that America is losing its competitive edge to countries that have made innovation a priority.

The Council for American Medical Innovation is asking Congress to adopt policies that:

  • Increase incentives for investment in research, development and its application.
  • Ensure an increasingly highly skilled and trained work force in the United States.
  • Increase investment in the life sciences.

The Council's full policy platform is available online at

The Best & Brightest Forum on Medical Innovation: Achieving Recovery Through Discovery included two panels: The first, moderated by Paul Begala, addressed the political landscape and why advocating for sustained U.S. leadership in medical innovation is so critical today. The second panel, moderated by Michelle McMurry, M.D., Ph.D., addressed the economics of medical innovation, and made the case for new policy.

Participants in the forum included leaders in health policy, research and biotechnology:

  • Rita Colwell, Ph.D., former director of the National Science Foundation; Chairman of Canon US Life Sciences, Inc.; and, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Dick Gephardt, Former House Majority Leader and President of the Council for American Medical Innovation
  • Brett P. Giroir, M.D., Vice Chancellor of Research, The Texas A&M University System
  • Michelle McMurry, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Health, Biomedical Science and Society Initiative, The Aspen Institute
  • Alicia Loffler, Ph.D., Director and Clinical Professor of Biotechnology, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
  • The Honorable Arlen Specter (D-PA), United States Senator
  • Billy Tauzin, President and CEO, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
  • Mary Woolley, President, Research!America

The Council for American Medical Innovation has hosted Best & Brightest Forums on Medical Innovation in Philadelphia and Chicago, and plans to continue these high-level discussions in various cities across the country, including Indianapolis, IN on July 7, and Seattle, WA on September 21.

About the Council for American Medical Innovation

The United States faces serious challenges to maintaining its leadership position in innovation. The Council for American Medical Innovation is bringing together leaders in research, medicine, public health, academia, education, labor, and business, who are working in partnership toward a national policy agenda aimed at preserving U.S. leadership in medical innovation. American medical innovators create millions of high-paying jobs, and their discoveries are integral in the fight to cure cancer and other illnesses. The Council for American Medical Innovation views leadership in medical innovation as a key part of America's economic recovery, future prosperity and health.

For more information on the Council for American Medical Innovation, visit

About The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC, Aspen, CO, and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore and has an international network of partners.

For more information, visit

SOURCE Council for American Medical Innovation and The Aspen Institute
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