TOKYO, March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- To address growing unmet medical needs and strengthen the global economy, new approaches to biopharmaceutical research and policies that support innovation are critical, according to John Lechleiter, Ph.D., chairman, president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY).
In remarks to the U.S./Japan Business Council Wednesday in Tokyo, Lechleiter outlined two imperatives to secure the future of the research-based pharmaceutical industry and help stimulate the global economy: changing the way companies conduct research – or "reinventing invention" – and implementing public policies that promote an environment in which medical innovation can thrive.
Lechleiter said that innovation is a key element in "re-energizing our economies and meeting the growing needs of aging populations." He added that the aging of society has progressed farther in Japan than anywhere else in the world and that poses a particular challenge:
Lechleiter noted that a report issued last year on Alzheimer's disease said that the global costs for caring for people with dementia in 2010 would surpass $600 billion – equal to about 1 percent of the world's GDP. Other research has found that the direct costs of dementia care in Japan are higher than in any other country except the United States.
With these global challenges in mind, Lechleiter made a case for the value of biopharmaceutical research and new medications:
"We believe that wise investments in health care innovation will be among society's most productive investments in the years ahead, and that medicines represent the most cost-effective approach to preventing and treating disease," Lechleiter said.
Lechleiter pointed to the industry's role in moving innovations forward and the need for change. Specifically, he stressed the need for a research-based pharmaceutical industry that is "more networked, global, and entrepreneurial" to bring innovative medicines to patients faster and at lower costs.
This new approach to research will be successful only within a policy environment that encourages innovation. He pointed to Lilly's work with regulators and policy makers in both Japan and the United States to improve the R&D process; to reduce review times for potential medicines, while ensuring patient safety; to enhance intellectual property protection; and to improve approaches to pharmaceutical pricing.
"A company's ability to pursue innovation – in any field – requires that governments maintain solid protection of intellectual property; a fair, rigorous and transparent system of regulation; and a predictable tax structure that allows us to plan and invest for the future," said Lechleiter.
Lechleiter commended Japan's New Growth Strategy for recognizing the value of innovation in providing health security to an aging society, and for proposing a reduction in the effective corporate tax rate to strengthen the competitiveness of companies operating in Japan. He also called for Japan to extend the data-exclusivity period for biologics to 12 years to be consistent with U.S. policy adopted as part of health care reform last year.
Lechleiter urged the Japanese government to further expand policies that are creating an environment for innovation:
Lechleiter said that Japanese biopharmaceutical research has produced some of the world's leading medicines and that the government has recognized health care, including pharmaceuticals, as a key economic growth driver. Noting that Japan is the world's second-largest pharmaceuticals market, he said that Lilly Japan is the company's largest affiliate outside the United States. Lilly Japan was established in 1975, opened its Seishin Laboratories in 1981, and today has more than 2,300 employees across all areas of the business. As reported by IMS, Lilly also is currently the fastest growing multinational pharmaceutical company in Japan, with sales of nearly $1.6 billion in 2010.
"Innovation is not a panacea for the challenges facing our economies and health care systems, but it is hard to see any way out of the current crisis without innovation," Lechleiter concluded.
About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com. C-LLY
|SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company|
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