Updated on 7 July 2016
Taiwan is ahead of Singapore when it comes to assessment of how the domestic policies support worldwide life sciences innovation, according to an analysis by Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a global technology policy think tank. Assessing 56 countries, comprising of close to 90 percent of the world's economy, on the extent to which the scientific research, drug pricing, and intellectual property policies contribute to global biopharmaceutical innovation.
The analysis found that the United States, Switzerland, Taiwan, Singapore, and Sweden have enacted policies that, on a per-GDP basis, contribute the most to global life-sciences innovation, while India, South Africa, Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia have policies that contribute the least.
"World Health Day is a time to reflect not just on what nations can do to generate better health outcomes for their own citizens now, but also for citizens around the world tomorrow," said co-author Stephen Ezell, ITIF vice president for global innovation policy. "Life sciences innovation requires years of painstaking and expensive research. To ensure global health outcomes continue improving, more nations must do their share to support biopharmaceutical innovation and not free ride off the hard work and investment of the leaders."
Building on previous ITIF research that studied the impact of national policies on the global innovation ecosystem, the report focuses specifically on biopharmaceutical innovation. Ezell and coauthor J. John Wu examined three policy areas that not only support life-sciences innovation domestically but also have positive spillover effects globally: governments' R&D expenditures on health; the extent of price controls on biopharmaceutical drugs; and intellectual property protections for life-science innovations.
"Despite tremendous progress over the past half century, the world is still not producing as much life-sciences innovation as is needed or possible," said Ezell. "Countries that fail to invest adequately in life-sciences research, pay less than their fair share for drugs, or put in place weak intellectual property protections for drugs hurt the entire global community by slowing down biopharmaceutical innovation that could cure or better manage diseases for future generations."