As the news of Donald Trump’s stunning election victory begins to sink in, the question of what this means for the industry is a pressing one. Certainly, it can be argued that Trump’s win has raised more questions than answers. This is largely because much of the industry appears uncertain as to what exactly his intentions are. Much like the Brexit vote months before and the fears that rose for the UK industry, there’s a cloud of doubt over what impact a Trump presidency will have for clinical research in the US.
So, in the run up to the election, what were Trump’s views on scientific research? After doing some digging around, perhaps unsurprisingly, he gave little away in terms of specific policy. However, in a recent interview with Scientific American, he argued the US has a responsibility to remain at the forefront of science and engineering.
“[S]cientific advances do require long term investment. This is why we must have programs such as a viable space program and institutional research that serve as incubators to innovation and the advancement of science and engineering in a number of fields.”
Encouraging words. However, his thoughts run contrary to his well known plans to cut taxes. In the same interview (in fact, in the very next sentence), he went on to say:
“Though there are increasing demands to curtail spending and to balance the federal budget, we must make the commitment to invest in science, engineering, healthcare and other areas that will make the lives of Americans better, safer and more prosperous.”
Trump’s sentiments above sound reasonable enough, but the real concern experts have on the matter is how he intends to invest in science and institutional research while balancing the books. What’s more, questions have been raised over what the future holds for programs led by outgoing president Barack Obama. The Precision Medicine Initiative, Cancer Moonshot and the BRAIN Initiative are three such programs Obama has made a priority in his second term, and it remains to be seen whether funding for all projects will continue after he leaves office.
What’s more, prior to the election, many viewed Clinton posed the biggest threat to the industry with plans to cut prices for prescription drugs. However, Trump has gone on record as vowing to tackle Washington’s influential pharma lobby. With two of America’s biggest biotech hubs located in Massachusetts and California – states that voted for Hillary Clinton – Trump and the industry appear on a collision course in the coming years.
But as Donald Trump prepares to move into the White House, we at Clinical Trials Arena want to know what impact you think he will have on clinical research. Email us your thoughts to [email protected], and we will summarize the industry’s thoughts in a few weeks’ time.