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Chicago's Top Minds Join National Business and Health Leaders in Addressing Medical Innovation, Highlighting Policies Needed to Maintain U.S. Competitiveness in Medical Science and Discovery
Date:4/15/2009

Richard Gephardt and the Council for American Medical Innovation Host "Best and Brightest Forum on Medical Innovation" in Chicago, featuring David Brennan, CEO of AstraZeneca, David Miller, President and CEO of iBIO, academics and patient advocates

CHICAGO, April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today in Chicago, the "Best and Brightest Forum on Medical Innovation" convened local and national leaders in academia, biotechnology and patient advocacy to address the importance of medical innovation in America. Richard Gephardt, former majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, moderated the forum, which was hosted by the Council for American Medical Innovation, a coalition of leaders in research, medicine, public health, academia, education, labor, and business, working in partnership toward a national policy agenda aimed at preserving U.S. leadership in medical innovation.

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"Medical innovation has an enormous impact on the health and economy of the United States, and is a growing part of the economy in Illinois," said Gephardt. "Yet America's lead in science and technology is starting to slip. We need to act now by laying a strong foundation with intelligent policies that will preserve our leadership in medical innovation and allow science and medical discovery to flourish today, tomorrow, and into the future."

Medical innovation is an important source of employment and output in Illinois, where the biopharmaceutical sector supported a total of 181,788 jobs and $37.9 billion in output in 2006, according to a new study conducted by Archstone Consulting and Dr. Lawton R. Burns, Director, The Wharton Center for Health Management and Economics at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. This study also found:

  • Biopharmaceutical sector companies invested $2.0 billion in research and development in Illinois in 2006.
  • Direct biopharmaceutical wages in Illinois were estimated to be $3.9 billion in 2006, resulting in an estimated $1.0 billion in federal taxes and $107.3 million in state taxes.
  • In 2008, U.S. scientists and researchers were conducting 21,795 studies to develop medicines targeting cancers, rare diseases, and other important conditions. Of these trials, 3,286 (15% of U.S. trials) were active in Illinois.

Speakers at today's forum discussed the economic importance of medical innovation to the state of Illinois, and the public policies that will make Illinois a good place to conduct world-class life sciences research and business in coming years.

"As Illinois realizes its potential in the important realm of medical innovation, every part of the state will benefit from new jobs, wealth, and breakthrough discoveries," said David Miller, President and CEO of the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization. "Biotechnology and medical discovery provide life-saving and life-enhancing medicines not just for Illinois, but for people all over the world. To realize its potential, Illinois needs good legislation and regulatory practices, sound public investments in programs and infrastructure, effective corporate actions, and support for research centers generating commercializable technology."

Panelists also outlined specific policy changes that are needed at the national level in order to create a healthy environment for innovation and discovery - including policies that can attract companies and well-paying jobs to the U.S., promote risk-taking in research and development, encourage more students to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, attract the best and brightest researchers to the U.S., and support basic scientific research and development.

"Innovative medicines improve patient health and will reduce government health care spending," said David Brennan, CEO of AstraZeneca and Chairman of the Executive Board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). "We need government assistance for research that helps bring medicines from the laboratory to the patient in a consistent, systematic way. We need an environment that includes strong, well-defined intellectual property rights, a productive NIH, a robust research-based and patient-driven biopharmaceutical industry, and a strong, well-functioning FDA."

Panelists participating in today's forum included top minds in academia, industry, and patient advocacy:

  • David Brennan, CEO of AstraZeneca
  • Chris Coburn, Executive Director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations
  • Bart Kamen, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Alicia Loffler, Ph.D., Director of the Kellogg Center for Biotechnology Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
  • David Miller, President and CEO of the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization

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 www.americanmedicalinnovation.org.


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SOURCE Council for American Medical Innovation
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