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September 16, 2014

Ebola Outbreak Highlights Value of Cures

IPI expert referenced: Merrill Matthews | In The News | Media Hit
  Bio Tech Now

By Tracy Cooley

Forbes recently published an op-ed comparing the outbreak and spread of the Ebola virus with the value of cures to prevent disease and save lives. The author – Merrill Matthews – is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, Texas. Matthews asserts that drug companies are in the business of discovering cures for deadly and debilitating diseases, and need support for expediting research and development by cutting through red tape and removing roadblocks so that cures and treatments reach patients faster.

The Ebola outbreak provides best practices on how to move medical innovation forward during a crisis. Matthews writes, “By streamlining the drug approval process, drugs could be approved faster and cost less, while still ensuring they are safe and effective. Health policy analysts have been making that claim for years, but it took an Ebola outbreak to prove it—and to get critics like the WHO to acknowledge it. Had the necessary regulatory changes been made some time ago, both the vaccine and a cure might already be available.”

In short, Matthews points out that it is a benefit to have an innovative industry working every day to tackle the worst diseases, and the Ebola outbreak demonstrates the value of the industry’s contributions to the world. Hopefully, the crisis will continue to provide best practices that can be shared throughout the drug continuum to expedite and deliver cures to patients.


 

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