Jeremy Levin has been talking for years about ways to elevate biopharma business practices and public policy to bypass obstacles that hold back biomedical innovation. As BIO’s new chair, he has a chance to try to persuade his colleagues to put those ideas into practice.
Guiding BIO has never been easy, but Levin, chairman and CEO of Ovid Therapeutics Inc., is taking on the task of chairing the organization at a particularly challenging time.
The biotech industry is being buffeted by national and international controversies over pricing and access to medicines at a time when its public reputation and political influence are at their nadir.
At the BIO International Convention Levin told the trade association’s members that his goal as chair is to “ensure that we continue to help facilitate and drive innovation across all biotechnology sectors, and we tackle in the most forthright manner anomalies of pricing of medicines.”
Levin made it clear in conversations with BioCentury that he appreciates the scope of the challenge, and that he intends to push for dramatic changes in the innovation ecosystem to overcome them.
“We’ve never had this level of frustration expressed at the industry writ large versus the incredible results from the innovative part of the industry,” he said.
Levin plans to push for public policy solutions to improve access to medicines while preserving incentives to innovate, as well as changes on the part of biopharma companies to adapt to legitimate concerns about pricing and anticompetitive business practices.
That adaptation includes BIO members changing to align their business practices with the social contract that has