Study details foreign efforts to lure biopharmaceutical companies
Despite increasing budget pressures, countries around the world are making substantial investments in pro-innovation policies and programs to lure the biopharmaceutical research sector away from the U.S., finds a new study released by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice.
The study, commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), further found that while many countries are cutting public expenditures, they are continuing to expand research and development incentives to attract and grow their biopharmaceutical company presence. Despite the short-term costs associated with these investments, foreign governments recognize the long-term economic benefits.
"In countries around the world, governments clearly recognize the potential benefit that biopharmaceutical research companies offer in terms of economic contributions and job growth — especially in a time when economic growth is so fundamentally needed," said PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani. "If the U.S. doesn''t take similar pro-innovation policy steps to counter these efforts - such as reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, intellectual property incentives such as 12 years of data protection for innovator biologics, and a permanent R&D tax credit - our global leadership in medical innovation is at risk."
A U.S. policy framework to help counter these efforts would provide regulatory certainty, ensure patient choice and access to medicines, and incentivize future research and development, he explained.
Battelle''s report focused on 18 countries and the European Union. These countries were selected because of their interest in growing an innovation economy through pro-innovation policies and programs that can be applied to R&D-intensive sectors such as the biopharmaceutical industry.
For example, other countries are increasingly seeking to make substantial public investments in R&D infrastructure, fostering R&D investment via tax and other research incentives, focusing on attracting and growing talent in related employment fields, ensuring access to capital and fostering public-private partnerships.
In addition, many countries have their own national innovation agenda specifically focusing on biomedical research.
Countries selected include a mix of developed countries with existing biopharmaceutical presence (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the EU) and emerging countries that are targeting the sector for new growth (Brazil, Chile, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa and South Korea).
"Until the early 1990s, Germany was known as ''the world''s medicine cabinet,''" said Castellani. "Unless we take steps to support innovative industries at a national level, we too will lose our standing, and with it, our jobs. Without a national biomedical innovation agenda, we''re not pitting America up against other countries - we''re pitting our states up against like-minded foreign governments. So states with vibrant biopharmaceutical research clusters, like North Carolina and Massachusetts, aren''t just competing with each other. They''re competing with countries like Singapore."
In the U.S., the biopharmaceutical sector is a large contributor to our economic landscape, with more than 650,000 direct jobs (supporting a total of nearly 4 million jobs) and an economic output that totals more than $900 billion. Also, the sector accounts for nearly 20 percent of all research and development investment by businesses in America. The impact of the sector goes beyond jobs - over the last decade, biopharmaceutical companies have brought more than 300 new medicines to the patients who need them.