Bio & Pharmaceuticals

Key U.S. Health Industries Outline Six-Point Plan for Improved Health and Economic Growth in Asia-Pacific Region

6 Jan, 2012

By: Trade & Industry Development
CEOs of J&J and Lilly Commend APEC on Health Care Progress in 2012

Leaders from several U.S. health care industries endorsed a six-point “Action Plan” for how economies in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) can help jump start economic growth by making better health a priority and they called on government leaders to commit to the plan.

The plan, which builds on APEC’s growing health agenda, was presented by leaders from Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) at the APEC Summit in Hawaii.

The Action Plan, based on APEC’s work over the past year, asks government and business in APEC economies to take six critical and specific steps to improve health and economic growth in the region:

Redefine Health: Recognize health is not just a social good, but as a source of sustainable economic growth and competitive advantage that can help jump start languishing economies.
Encourage Innovation: Create conditions that foster the right kinds of innovation for APEC economies – from high tech marvels to low cost solutions.
Reduce Regulatory Burdens: Reduce regulatory complexity and harmonize regulation across economies so health innovations get to people sooner and with less cost.
Transparency: Make health care reform a more transparent process across economies, enabling the best ideas to compete openly.
Compliance and Anti-corruption: Reduce cost in the system by enhancing compliance with high ethical standards and reducing opportunities for corruption.
Free Trade: Expand free trade across the region and social partnerships that sustainably meet the needs of the region’s people.

“Restoring and maintaining economic growth requires effective policies and actions. We believe the action plan will lead to a thriving and innovative health care sector in APEC economies, which creates jobs across a spectrum of businesses, improves productivity, promotes good health and personal well-being,” said Stephen J. Ubl, President and CEO of AdvaMed.

“The APEC agenda demonstrated that sustainable economic recovery and job creation are at the forefront of the minds of business and government leaders,” said Chip Davis, Executive Vice President of PhRMA. “We believe improving healthcare is a vital component of any plan to reinvigorate economic growth in the APEC region. This action plan provides a roadmap for getting there.”
“Working in partnership will be critical to improve health and enhance economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Our industries are poised to help APEC define the future health care needs and demands of this rapidly growing region,” said Joseph Damond, Senior Vice President for International Affairs at BIO.

In addition to endorsing the plan, the CEO’s of two major U.S. health care companies, Johnson and Johnson and Eli Lilly and Company, also congratulated APEC members on their progress to address Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and achieve regulatory convergence, both components of the overall plan.

William C. Weldon, Chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson, commended the APEC plan to reduce the economic burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), a set of principles which will guide APEC economies as they implement new programs and initiatives to prevent and mitigate the economic impact of rising rates of chronic disease.

“We urge the APEC economies to implement the ideas contained in the NCD action plan, which will help reduce the economic burden of non-communicable, chronic, disease,” said Weldon. “This work will take the leadership of the APEC governments, NGO’s, and the private sector. Industry is ready to play a role through public-private partnerships and other approaches.”

John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Chairman, President, and CEO, Eli Lilly and Company, applauded the efforts of APEC members for approving a landmark strategic framework to achieve regulatory convergence of medical products by the year 2020. Regulatory convergence is a process whereby regulatory requirements across economies become more similar or aligned over time as a result of the gradual adoption of internationally recognized standards and procedures. Convergence will ultimately ensure more timely access by patients to medical products and advances in public health.

“APEC is to be congratulated on the endorsement of the strategic framework to achieve regulatory convergence of medical products by the year 2020,” said Lechleiter. “This is a landmark achievement. I don’t know of any other intergovernmental organization of this nature where regulators have come together with the private sector to work on aligning regulatory systems in this way.”

Both leaders encouraged APEC to continue working with the private sector and non-governmental stakeholders on building capacity within APEC economies to ensure achievement of the regulatory goal by 2020. The Government of Canada was recognized for leading the initiative, which will generate benefits for the entire APEC region, including Australia, China, Japan, and the United States.

PhRMA Applauds Passage of Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO John Castellani released the following statement on the passage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement:

“PhRMA is pleased that the Congress has passed the Korea Free Trade Agreement. This agreement recognizes the 60 years of partnership between our two countries and the important national security ties that we share. The agreement will play a key role in strengthening the U.S. economy and increasing American jobs and exports.

“PhRMA has long viewed the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement as an important opportunity for Korean patients to access biopharmaceutical medicines produced in the United States. With rising living standards and increasingly sophisticated access to information, Korean patients, like patients everywhere, want access to the most advanced medical treatments.

“We believe this Agreement, particularly the transparency and intellectual property provisions, represents a 21st century standard that should be a model for other agreements, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership.

“Korea is an important market for the U.S. research-based pharmaceutical companies, a country where we currently enjoy a trade surplus. This agreement will contribute directly to increased U.S. exports and the expansion of highly skilled, well-paying jobs here in the U.S.”

PhRMA Foundation Awards Comparative Effectiveness Research Grants to Top Universities
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Foundation today announced that Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington will each receive a $250,000 grant to establish a three-year graduate certificate program. This program is formally known as the PhRMA Foundation Center of Excellence for a Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Educational Program.

The program’s goal is to initiate the process of organizing, building, and delivering university based M.S. and Ph.D. curricular programs in U.S. colleges and schools to instill knowledge and hone CER skills in students. These students will eventually teach, research, and interpret CER to better patient outcomes. The new grant – which will be awarded annually – will also help support programs for high-quality CER, such as those under way at the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, by giving researchers and practitioners the educational tools they need to help carry out CER studies.

“In an effort to attract well-qualified candidates to the growing field of CER and build a strong foundation for such patient-centered research, we awarded – for the first time ever – a grant to top educational institutions to develop a graduate-level curriculum around CER,” said Jean Paul Gagnon, chairman, Comparative Effectiveness Research Advisory Committee, PhRMA Foundation. “While there were several excellent candidates that applied for the grant, this year’s recipients were chosen because they displayed strong track records conducting CER and demonstrated a commitment to advancing the field through related activities.”

CER examines the clinical effectiveness, benefits and risks of different medical or health care interventions, including drugs, medical technology, or approaches to organizing and managing health care. The results of these comparison studies are used by medical professionals to make informed health care determinations with the goal of improving patient care.

"My colleagues and I at the University of Washington are very excited and pleased to be launching a Graduate Certificate Program in Comparative Effectiveness Research with the support of the PhRMA Foundation,” said Lou Garrison, Ph.D., professor and associate director, Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research & Policy Program, University of Washington. “As we move into this new era of patient-centered, real-world outcomes research with active stakeholder engagement, there is a tremendous need for newly trained researchers to take advantage of these new opportunities and to address critical methodological and information needs."

“The faculty members of the Center for Healthcare Services and Outcomes Research at Johns Hopkins University are excited to develop a Center of Excellence in Comparative Effectiveness Research Education,” said Jodi B. Segal, M.D., MPH, associate professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University. “We are beginning by developing a certificate program in comparative effectiveness research that will be available to degree and non-degree students. Concurrently, we will be converting two of our CER-relevant courses so that they are accessible through the Hopkins online learning program; and we will prepare a series of seminars that will be available via a video archive to all viewers.”

As part of the grant, both universities are required to collaborate with one another to help produce high caliber comparative effectiveness researchers and practitioners who interpret and use research results to help improve health outcomes.

For 46 years, the PhRMA Foundation has supported the field of drug discovery and the careers of scientific investigators, faculty members and physicians. By funding the research of more than 2,200 young scientists, the Foundation has helped pave the way for the future of biopharmaceutical care.