Winning the future in biosciences

White House In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama spoke of the need to “encourage American innovation” as a major component to his theme of winning the future:

"None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from. Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution. What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living."

We agree. This is especially true in the biosciences – and why we support the policy goals of the Council for American Medical Innovation (CAMI), a coalition of leaders in medicine, public health, academia, labor, investment and business dedicated to promoting a national policy agenda to promote medical innovation.

CAMI believes this policy agenda must include executive branch leadership at the federal level; the creation of public-private partnerships in research; strengthening investments in research and development and manufacturing to foster job growth; enhancing regulatory science efforts at the Food and Drug Administration; and increasing the U.S. biosciences talent pool through an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education efforts.

Two other areas will help keep the United States at the forefront of innovation and spur the creation of jobs and economic development:

Strong FDA. AstraZeneca has urged the Obama administration to increase FDA appropriations by 20 percent for fiscal year 2012 to ensure the agency has the resources it needs to carry it out its mission and encourage innovation while protecting patients.

Patent reform. AstraZeneca also supports Senate legislation introduced Tuesday to strengthen the nation’s patent system, a proposal that will provide more certainty to inventors and, in turn, encourage scientific advances across the economy.

On a side note: The president noted that his budget will include funding for medical research, as noted earlier this week.

– By Tony Jewell