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Lilly Chairman Taurel Says Promise of Personalized Medicine Could be Jeopardized by Short-Sighted Public Policies
Date:12/12/2008

NEW YORK, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In his last public remarks as the leader of a large biopharmaceutical company, Sidney Taurel, chairman of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), today said that the promise of personalized medicine won't become a reality unless markets and regulatory environments encourage and reward companies for the long-term, expensive research required to move innovative new products from the lab bench to the bedside.

Taurel, who will retire on December 31, after nearly 40 years in health care, today addressed an audience at the Center for Medical Progress of the Manhattan Institute in New York City.

"I firmly believe that we stand on the cusp of an unprecedented period of discovery and invention in the life sciences, in which our understanding of individual human differences replaces our pursuit of generalized wellbeing as the main driver of medical progress," said Taurel.

Taurel said that the gap between medicine as an art and a true science may finally be closing. The decoding of the human genome has energized hopes for truly personalized medicine.

"Today, there is hardly a molecule or an approved product anywhere in Lilly's pipeline or portfolio that is not the subject of tailoring. Our goal is to give doctors the ability to prescribe for individual patients -- with a much higher level of confidence -- the right dose of the right medicine and the right time."

"Early progress at Lilly makes clear that personalized medicine is no illusion," said Taurel. "However, personalized medicine also is not guaranteed."

Taurel cautioned that policies that may be expedient in the short-term -- like weakened patent protections for biotech medicines, price controls for new drugs, or new regulatory hurdles between innovators and the marketplace -- wil
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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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