For example, in 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first two CAR-T therapies that treat certain types of cancer by training white blood cells to detect cancer cells. Also approved in 2017 was the first gene therapy to cure an inherited form of blindness.
As a result of these types of advances, cancer death rates in the United States have declined 26 percent since peaking in 1991; approximately 73 percent of survival gains are attributable to treatment advances, including new medicines.
Yet despite profound leaps in treatment, some in Washington, DC, have proposed policies that would negatively impact biopharmaceutical innovation. These proposals could move us away from a system focused on ensuring patients have access to the latest treatments.
The competitive marketplace in the United States balances costs and provides patients with access to innovative medicines far earlier than other countries. It’s why the United States leads the world in drug discovery and why Americans can access cancer medicines about two years earlier, on average, than patients in other developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
Many of the policies Washington is considering threaten the ability of America’s biopharmaceutical researchers to continue researching and developing new treatments and cures. During one of the greatest eras of scientific progress, they threaten patient access to the next lifesaving breakthroughs. That’s why we’re committed to advocating for the latest innovations for people everywhere. We continue to go boldly, together.