Between The Public And Private Sector, Who Is Responsible For The Vast Development Of New Medicines?
Fundamental research is a necessary first step in the process to create new treatments and cures. But without the investment and risk-taking of the biopha
rmaceutical industry, the knowledge resulting from this research would generate many ideas for potential medicines and drug targets—but very few new medicines. As Dr. Anthony Fauci of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) explains, “We always need a pharmaceutical partner…I can’t think of a vaccine, even one in which we’ve put substantial intellectual and resource input, that was brought to the goal line without a partnership with industry.”
NIH Has A Critical Public Health Mission To Uncover New Knowledge That Will Lead To Better Health For Everyone—And We Should Keep It That Way.
Imagine the loss for the advancement of public health if the NIH was solely focused on developing new therapeutics. The NIH provides research grants to academic researchers who not only advance basic science research but also have a critical role to play in training future scientists. The NIH also has a critical role in developing and supporting medical libraries, training medical librarians and other health information specialists, and educating on the importance of prevention for maintaining good health.
NIH-funded studies are critical for understanding the natural history of diseases, identifying critical biomarkers, and establishing clinical guidelines for best standard of care. Private sector companies regularly collaborate with the NIH by providing funding and drug supplies, contracting with clinical trial networks to run industry-sponsored clinical trials, and providing scientific expertise to those networks through advisory committees. However, similar to the way NIH cannot fulfill all of the responsibilities of the industry, the industry cannot fulfill all of NIH’s responsibilities. Each member of the biopharmaceutical ecosystem plays a unique and vital role.
Biopharmaceutical research companies are uniquely positioned to take the necessary risks to build on and further advance basic science research into safe and effective treatments that can be made available to patients.