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More R&D Funding Equals More Innovation, Right?

Wrong.  From Carl Schramm at Forbes: "In the past 15 years, despite a doubling of federal funds for biomedical R&D, the number of new drugs approved by the FDA and coming to market has decreased by nearly half — from around 40 per year in the late 1990s to a little over 20 per year since 2005. Pre-market testing to meet FDA requirements has become such a huge factor in drug development budgets that it’s hard for companies to even consider working on new products with limited market potential."

Biomedical innovations are likely to come first to market in faster-moving regions - Singapore, the more progressive Arab states, perhaps India and China.  Health providers may think this is Big Pharma's problem to solve.  They're wrong. 

Anything encouraging medical tourism - as earlier access to life-saving innovations certainly does - is one more hole in the bottom of providers' already-leaky lifeboat.  It's in everybody's interest to see that innovation curve bending upward once again.

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