Developing innovative, lifesaving medicines for patients is the sole focus of the biopharmaceutical industry. PhRMA member companies invested more than $50 billion in research and development (R&D) in 2013 and over half a trillion dollars since 2000. This represents the vast majority of all biopharmaceutical R&D spending – both private and government – in the United States. In fact, the pharmaceutical sector accounts for approximately 20 percent of all domestic R&D funding by U.S. businesses, supporting millions of jobs across the country. As a result of these investments, since 2000, more than 450 new medicines have been made available to patients facing cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other debilitating diseases. And today, the biopharmaceutical pipeline has never been more promising with more than 6,800 medicines in clinical development around the world, including treatments for Ebola, Alzheimer’s, and many rare diseases.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) plays a vital role in basic research and early discovery, and we support sufficient federal funding for their work. But pursuing misguided policies that siphon funding from the groundbreaking medical research happening in the biopharmaceutical industry will have devastating consequences for patients and society. The proposed legislation would result in fewer medicines for patients and lost jobs at a time when our economy can least afford it.
Biopharmaceutical research companies will continue working with patients, health care stakeholders, and policymakers to eliminate fraud and abuse throughout the health care system and continue to improve the development of lifesaving medicines for patients.
Robert Zirkelbach Robert Zirkelbach is Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at PhRMA. He joined PhRMA in 2014 after working for seven years representing the health insurance industry. He likes Saturday afternoon BBQs on his deck, traveling, trying new restaurants, and attempting to play golf. He’s an avid, somewhat obsessive, Iowa Hawkeye fan and is lucky to have a wife that loves watching college football on Saturday afternoons.