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The Global Biomedical Industry: Preserving U.S. Leadership

Sep 22, 2011
Publisher: Milken Institute

The United States is still the global leader in the biomedical industry, but countries across Europe and Asia are pursuing aggressive plans to close the gap and take the high-value jobs and capital this sector creates.

Multiple factors leave the U.S. vulnerable to growing international competition: increasing complexity and uncertainty in the FDA's approval processes, especially as these relate to medical devices; government funding cuts; and federal tax policies that are not globally competitive.

U.S. policymakers must take these seven decisive steps for the nation to retain its lead in biomedical innovation:

  • Increase R&D tax incentives and make them permanent
  • Cut corporate tax rates to match the OECD average
  • Enhance support for emerging fields
  • Provide adequate resources for the FDA and the NIH
  • Leverage existing strengths in medical devices
  • Build human capital
  • Promote and expand the role of universities