Why China'south Medical Discovery Initiative Is Worth Watching

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 0:41 AM

As someone who knows the world'south second largest economy well, it'south objective to declare that the level of concern is justified. However, I've number doubt that China will double down on key initiatives to stem turbulence in its markets and support a longstanding focus on achieving growth (albeit at a less rapid pace than before).

Why China'south Medical Discovery Initiative Is Worth Watching

In recent weeks, much of the world has been wondering whether we're on the verge of another economic slowdown, this time with China driving the headlines.

As someone who knows the world'south second largest economy well, it'south objective to declare that the level of concern is justified. However, I've number doubt that China will double down on key initiatives to stem turbulence in its markets and support a longstanding focus on achieving growth (albeit at a less rapid pace than before).

During any slowdown period, any nation'south natural instinct is to see to industries and sectors that have been the pillars of growth in the past: defense, high-tech and energy, to title a few. In China'south case, policymakers and business leaders recognize a unique opportunity in the life sciences to claim the world'south top spot in research and development. The U. S. stands to lose out if we don't get steps to match the Chinese efforts.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, China spent near to $1.2 billion promoting life and medical sciences in two thousand-twelfth - nearly ten times its two thousand four level of investment. A report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found that China will have invested nearly 9 billion in biotechnology between two thousand eleven and two thousand sixteen. China is in a position to gain a global leadership position in research and development (R&D) in the next ten years.

For decades, the U. S. has been the boss in medical discovery and breakthroughs that modify lives because of unprecedented investment in R&D. With moves by China and others to discover the following circular of breakthrough treatments, the U. S. is at risk of falling behind in a field that's set us apart for decades. An expand in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding alone won't lead to a safe medical R&D leadership position, as it'south clear innovators across the biosciences are fundamental to developing new treatments for the world'south most pressing medical challenges. Recent concern over the Zika virus -- specifically the necessity for an effective treatment and vaccine to assistance address its spread -- is a prime example of the necessity for near collaboration among public and private sector researchers.

Separately, President Obama'south new moonshot initiative that aims to bring together public and private sector leaders to expand new treatments for cancer will certainly become portion of the policy statements of the various candidates during this election year. That can only hold cancer research front and middle in the public discourse. We're at the forefront of new discoveries and medical innovation and we should get advantage of these advancements to highlight how the benefits for patients and all this research contribute to our national competitiveness.

Rather than support the status quo, we should recognize that treatments and cures are products of tough work and investment that make better quality of life and serve as a pipeline of hope to millions while creating excellent paying jobs in the life sciences. It's clear that China is poised to do this. If America is willing to commit to this undertaking, it'll lead to further medical breakthroughs, longer lives and more family-wage jobs that'll hold the U. S. competitive well into the future.

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