This excerpt taken from the NVS 6-K filed Feb 9, 2009.
Scientific and technological advances allow new approaches in drug research that create the foundation for innovative medicines for hitherto untreatable diseases.
The cost increases associated with the growing demand for healthcare services, diagnostics and medicines lead to political activities aimed at reducing expenditures on medicines, via price reductions and generic substitution. Unfortunately, these efforts go even further and also encompass attempts to weaken patents and intellectual property. This increases the risk that long-term investment in research and development will decline. Effective medicines ultimately offer the most cost-efficient treatment for a patient and for lowering costs for the healthcare system. The weakening of protection for innovation with potential curtailment of research and development, will not lower costs in the long run, but will instead lead to massive increases in costs not to mention the human suffering. In short, the best way of reducing the long-term costs of healthcare is to provide incentives for sustainable investment in successful research and development. Without better prevention and innovative medicines, the costs of treating patients with cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes or dementia not to mention other diseases will skyrocket.