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The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

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Celgene’s Robert Hugin Says ‘Medical Innovation Is a Crown Jewel of America’

Summit, NJ, March 21, 2013 — In a speech touching on the biopharmaceutical industry, innovation, the economy and policy, Robert J. Hugin, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Corporation and former HealthCare Institute of New Jersey Chair, said “medical innovation is a crown jewel of America,” adding that it has “contributed so greatly to the success of our country over the last 50 years and has made such a meaningful difference in the quality and length of our lives.”

Speaking at a U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services summit entitled “Medical Innovation and Public Policy: At the Crossroads” on December 11, 2012, Mr. Hugin told his audience, “It is paramount that we work together to ensure that policymakers … recognize that a positive policy environment is actually a critical part of the solution in dealing with these many challenging issues that we all face.”

“Medical innovation is a critical part of the growth engine,” Mr. Hugin said.  “It is one of the few manufacturing sectors that is projected to increase the number of jobs over the next 10 years.”  He added that this “ecosystem of innovation impacts “local communities and the academic environments,” as well.

However, Mr. Hugin cautioned, “We have to recognize that this [innovation ecosystem] is potentially at risk.”  “If we do not maintain forward-looking policies to encourage risk-taking, to encourage medical innovation,” he continued, “our life sciences sector … will be forced away and driven to other markets.”

“Over the course of the past five years, and as a result of tremendous challenges and tough economic times, important benefits have emerged,” Mr. Hugin observed.

“One [benefit] is … recognition that collaboration is central and fundamental to success for all parts of the healthcare ecosystem,” he said.  “It is a reality today,” he added, “that we will not capture the promise in the potential of medical innovation for the future, and we will not provide the solutions for the financial problems we have, if we don’t have integrated collaborative solutions.”

“It is an incredibly challenging time…,” Mr. Hugin told his audience.  “But I assure you, it is not a time for us to shy away or step back from bold and courageous changes and embracing the future.  It is not a time for retrenchment in rationing.  That is not the solution.  We need to step forward with a bold agenda … and set aspirational goals for the future.”

To read Mr. Hugin’s entire speech, click here.