America’s biopharmaceutical companies are working around the clock to defeat COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel strain of the coronavirus. The biopharmaceutical industry continues to make significant progress toward identifying solutions to diagnose, treat and prevent infections from the virus.
Over the past several decades, PhRMA members have invested billions of dollars in developing an advanced manufacturing infrastructure and critical technologies that have allowed us to rapidly respond to COVID-19. There are more than 1,400 clinical trials testing COVID-19 treatments and vaccines and there are currently 442 unique treatments being tested globally for COVID-19 and related complications. The impressive pace at which researchers have been able to understand COVID-19 and get medicines and vaccines into clinical trials is a testament to the productivity of the United States’ biomedical research ecosystem that encourages investment in complex and often risky research and development (R&D).
Recently, despite the current health care need to combat COVID-19, President Trump signed an executive order that that could seriously disrupt this system and impede the industry’s ability to respond to the current pandemic. The proposal would allow the government to set the price of medicines based on prices decided by foreign governments in countries where access to innovative therapies is restricted and investment in treatments and cures is lacking. Nearly 90% of new medicines launched since 2011 are available in the United States compared to just 50% on average in other developed countries where politicians decide the value of medicines. This is a step backwards when we should be doing everything we can to beat COVID-19.
Now more than ever, we need policies that support continued innovation, not policies like the latest executive order that discourage continued medical innovation in the United States.
In case you missed it, here is some of the latest news about the industry’s efforts to beat COVID-19:
- The Hill: Pfizer Launches Phase 3 Trial of Coronavirus Vaccine With 30k Participants
- Fierce Biotech: Lilly starts phase 3 test of COVID-19 antibody in nursing homes
- Washington Post: Oxford coronavirus vaccine safe and promising, according to early human trial results published in the Lancet
- EndPoints News: COVID-19 Challenge: A Webinar on Keeping the Supply Chain Intact
- Bloomberg: Merck Pushes Ahead on Coronavirus Treatment, Vaccines
Fierce Pharma: AbbVie, Amgen and Takeda test anti-inflammatory drugs in joint COVID-19 study
Get the latest updates and learn more about the biopharmaceutical industry’s work to beat COVID here.
Andrew Powaleny is Senior Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA and leads the organizations scientific communications. Before joining PhRMA in 2015, he worked in public affairs for a small firm in Washington, DC and served as Deputy Press Secretary for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Andrew came to Washington, D.C. via Connecticut with a degree from Eastern Connecticut State University where he majored in public policy and government. Andrew is active as a runner and volunteer with the DC Front Runners; most recently serving on its Board of Directors for three years as co-race director. He is also a member of the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and mentors students through his alumni association with The Fund for American Studies. Andrew is passionate about scientific innovation, especially for mental illness, and his heroes are the men and women of America’s biopharmaceutical research companies.