Prior to the event, we spoke with former US Senator Jeff Flake to discuss his view on the industry and the role innovation can have with, and in spite of, government regulations.
“There is a massive disconnect between the pharma industry and general public,” Flake said about the state of the industry.
“The benefits in the quality of life enjoyed by the general public resulting from decades of pharmaceutical research and development are quickly forgotten when there are well-publicized incidences of price gouging and stories of incentivizing addiction. The pharma industry needs to more effectively market the former and more meaningfully address the latter.”
According to Flake, connecting the public and the industry may be a matter of government regulation, and this could be achieved through the pricing of prescription drugs and the importing of medications.
“We are part of a global economy and American consumers have benefitted handsomely from free trade. Erecting barriers to trade, whether we’re talking about commodities, consumer products, services, or foreign investment, will negatively impact our standard of living as well as the ability to compete globally,” said Flake.
One of the ways in which maintaining said free trade in the industry would be the importing of medications and therapies from countries outside the US, Flake suggested.
No matter how the government intervenes with regulation, Flake stated that health care and the pharmaceutical directive is a bipartisan issue that may be addressed in the upcoming US election in 2020.
“Both political parties understand the potency of health care as a campaign issue. Democrats believe that most Americans are comfortable with the affordable care act (ACA). Republicans understand that their base is still dissatisfied with the ACA, but Republican lawmakers are no closer to a replacement than they ever were,” Flake identified.
“In the short term, we can expect both parties to play to their base with no significant policy changes – especially in an era of divided government,” he concluded.
Further discussion with Senator Flake regarding the role of AI, drug discovery, and regulatory changes is set to occur closer to his keynote address.