Deloitte's path to 21st century cures

A call to action

Our country has had a strong commitment to life sciences research and development (R&D) for new treatments and cures. A translational approach to the R&D value chain removes discrete steps and connects the discovery, development, and delivery processes. New learnings inform this value chain, and additional discoveries and developments lead to a continuous process improvement cycle. This could accelerate U.S. life sciences R&D and bolster global competitiveness.

Translational approach

In his 2011 State of the Union Address, the President invoked “our Sputnik moment.” Recalling U.S. investments in research and education after Russia launched the first space satellite 50 years ago, President Obama called for renewed efforts to meet international competition with investments in education and research, renewable energy, life sciences, and information technologies. Obama’s call to action still matters.

We present ideas for achieving a translational approach to the value chain—connecting the processes and eliminating the discrete steps. We identify “accelerators” along the chain to help bring life sciences discoveries to market faster and at a pace that keeps up with the explosion of new science knowledge. This could also help bolster life sciences R&D global competitiveness.

To learn more about this R&D value chain approach


Traditionally, stakeholders have had different approaches and goals to the discovery cycle. Incentivizing research output, bridging stakeholder differences, and connecting the discovery process to development and delivery is a challenge. It requires maintaining funding levels, continuing recognized academic research, and leveraging health technology.  Pursuing teaming with multiple stakeholders in the biopharmaceutical R&D value chain can increase the effective dissemination of information and increase the number of products in the pipeline.


The development process is usually hindered by complex and resource- intensive regulatory requirements and practices. The current system encourages and rewards siloed product development and does not support the sharing of information among life sciences companies. Measures to encourage collaboration and data sharing, as well as practical administration through cooperative and innovative policymaking, could increase the regulatory value proposition to consumers and life sciences companies.


Delivery, which feeds from Discovery and Development, provides a greater wealth of information to foster new Discovery and start the cycle all over again. Health information technology (HIT) provides the ability to improve analysis and gain better insight of the available information to make effective and timely decisions. New tools, new markets, and new science will provide a greater wealth of information for iterative life sciences innovation fostering an environment where stakeholders are able to leverage new technology, and invest, generate, and reinvest capital impacts throughout the R&D value chain.

America had achievements during its last Sputnik moment, and there’s no reason why this can’t be our rallying call for a Sputnik moment 2.0.  

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