BERLIN, July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ), today urged that biopharmaceuticals be included in transatlantic trade and economic discussions. Lechleiter participated in the American Council on Germany's conference on "The Transatlantic Partnership in the 21st Century," joining U.S. Fed Chairman Paul Volcker; German State Secretary in the Federal Finance Ministry Jorg Asmussen; and Handlesblatt editor-in-chief Gabor Steingart in a panel discussion.
"Biopharmaceutical innovation has enormous global economic and social benefits," said Lechleiter. "New medicines are one of the most cost-effective investments we can make to improve health care and enable more efficient use of health care budgets. The whole world has a stake in policies in Europe and America that promote innovation and trade to address the vast unmet medical needs of growing and aging populations."
Even with these benefits, biopharmaceutical innovation is very susceptible to the political environment – both nationally and internationally. Lechleiter explained that responses to short-term cost pressures by government payers are hampering the sector, citing recent reforms in Germany as an example.
"We must ensure that health care reform in our countries will help promote biopharmaceutical innovation and not undermine it," said Lechleiter. "Health care reform should focus on creating value through the system — and that means promoting innovation and efficiency. Even the absolute requirements of our sector in global markets – intellectual property protection, supply chain security and anti-counterfeiting measures – are far from secure."
To spur trans-Atlantic trade in pharmaceuticals and maintain medical in