BioNJ Scientist Storytelling Series

A Scientist’s Perspective: Medical Innovations of Today & Tomorrow

Patients in New Jersey and across the country rely on America’s thriving life sciences industry to access new and improved treatments and cures to manage their conditions, protect themselves from public health threats and improve their health and overall quality of life. Today, there are countless examples of how innovative efforts by scientists have helped deliver new and more effective medicines to Patients with cancer, rare diseases and other hard-to-treat conditions. Most recently, those efforts have been illuminated by the heroic response of scientists to expediently bring COVID-19 vaccines to market.

The current health care ecosystem in America enables and empowers scientists and life sciences companies – including over 3,200 in New Jersey – to drive these innovations forward on behalf of Patients. But these efforts, and the ability of scientists and researchers to discover the treatments and innovations of tomorrow, could be in jeopardy under the cover of well-intentioned but misguided efforts by federal and state lawmakers to address access and affordability challenges for Patients. Many federal and state policy proposals aimed at lowering Patient costs could threaten research and development efforts that are necessary to bring these breakthrough treatments to market and make them accessible to the Patients who need them most.

As legislators and key decisionmakers consider proposals to make prescription medications more affordable and accessible, it is critical that they ensure those efforts don’t simultaneously endanger the life sciences industry that would impinge upon Patient access. Organizations that rely on one-size-fits-all methods to determine drug value and access, such as the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), and proposals that include price setting or negotiation policies, threaten Patient access to future medical innovations and the work of the scientists who make those treatments possible.

Timothy Watson, Ph.D., is one such scientist who has made a career out of his deep commitment to the health outcomes of the Patients of New Jersey and beyond. As Executive Director and Global Leader of the Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Advisory Office at Pfizer, Dr. Watson leads a team that works to bring forward new technologies in order to enable Pfizer scientists to be confident in developing new innovations that can help more Patients.

BioNJ sat down with Dr. Watson recently to learn more about his work and perspective on the future of medical innovation and the role it plays for Patients. Click on the video below for interview.