Meeting

Financial Incentives to Support Unmet Medical Needs for Nervous System Disorders: A Workshop


When: January 20, 2015 - January 21, 2015 (8:30 AM Eastern)
Where: Keck Center (Room 100) • 500 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

Topics Biomedical and Health Research, Substance Use and Mental Health, Diseases, Aging, Public Health, Quality and Patient Safety
Activities: Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders, Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation
Board: Board on Health Sciences Policy

The global burden of nervous system disorders is projected to significantly increase over time and is estimated to cost society more than $6 trillion per year by 2030 (World Economic Forum and Harvard School of Public Health, 2011). Although there have been recent international initiatives to better understand the human brain in order to develop new therapeutics, several large pharmaceutical companies have decreased investment or even withdrawn from their neuroscience research programs. The perceived high risk and low probability of success has made the neuroscience sector less attractive than other therapeutics areas for research and development (R&D), despite the large market potential. As a result, patients are often left with few if any options for treatment and thus there is a need to consider policy options to increase private sector investment in R&D for nervous system disorders.  With this context this public workshop explored opportunities to foster private sector innovation by supporting new investments directed toward the development of novel therapeutics to meet unmet needs for nervous system disorders.

Workshop Objectives:

The workshop brought together key stakeholders to explore opportunities to increase private sector investments directed toward the development of novel therapeutics to meet unmet needs for nervous system disorders. Presentations and discussions were designed to:

  • Examine opportunities and barriers to increasing investments for the development of novel therapeutics to support unmet medical needs for nervous system disorders.
    • Discuss specific considerations for combination therapies and disease modifying treatments that may require extensive long-term prevention trials.
  • Explore potential incentives that might lead to a significant re-investment in research and development (R&D) within the neuroscience sector, while considering the resources needed for implementation. For example:
    • Discuss regulatory changes that may help decrease the time it takes for a new CNS drug to be approved.
    • Consider the impact of potential policy changes on patients.

This workshop was a collaboration among the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders and Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation.

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