Where we innovate: Does it matter?

Globe_west_540 An interesting question was raised this week at the Medical Innovation at the Crossroads conference in Washington: Does it matter where new cures and treatments come from?

“No,” patient advocate George Vradenburg said quickly and decisively.

Former House Speaker Dick Gephardt agreed: “Medical innovation isn’t a competition with the world. We want everyone else to succeed, too.”

But Gephardt also is co-chairman of the Council for American Medical Innovation, a partnership dedicated to urging Congress to adopt a national policy agenda that keeps the United States at the forefront of medical innovation.

Why? Because, in addition to helping bring new treatments and cures for the most deadly and debilitating illnesses, the Council believes a commitment to fostering innovation in the United States also will produce other direct benefits to society.

Namely: Jobs.

“U.S. leadership in medical innovation and resulting biomedical development is ours to lose,” the Council concluded in a report released last year. “And we seem to be doing just that.”

The full report and the Council's recommendations for addressing the challenges can be found here.

Meanwhile, we asked the question over at Quora: Does the United States have to take a leadership role in discovering new cures and/or treatments? Or will advances come from other nations if the United States doesn't aggressively pursue an innovation agenda?

– By Tony Jewell

One comment

  • As a matter of national pride, the US certainly should be the innovator in marshaling faster cures and treatments to patients. As a matter of economic competitiveness, health care contributes significantly to keeping and creating jobs.