In a live interview with Bloomberg TV on January 7, Amgen CEO Bob Bradway expressed confidence about an eventual end to the COVID-19 pandemic, while also warning of the need to prevent a “secondary health crisis” involving chronic disease.
“We can see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel,” he noted, citing the rapid development of vaccines, antibody treatments, and anti-inflammatory medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19. “The fact that our industry has been able to develop effective therapies so quickly is a real testament to the power of innovation and, in particular, to the power and importance of biotechnology.”
At the same time, Bradway expressed concern that many Americans have postponed or cancelled screenings, lab tests, and physician visits for chronic conditions such as heart disease and osteoporosis. “Hundreds of thousands of people are at increasing risk of those chronic diseases as a result of either delaying or not being routinely in connection with their doctors,” he warned. “It would be a shame if, after all of the pain and suffering of COVID-19, we allowed a secondary health crisis to develop in our society, particularly for diseases where we can predict who's at risk and prevent them from developing disease by getting therapy to them early.”
When asked about this week’s events in Washington, D.C., Bradway said that he found “appalling” the scenes of rioting and unrest surrounding the certification by Congress of the presidential electoral vote. “After all the trauma that we've been through as a society over the past year,” he observed, “it's time to pick up the pieces and begin rebuilding trust in our institutions.” Bradway added that Amgen looks forward to working with the incoming Biden administration and Congress “to end this pandemic, to make the changes necessary to see that patients can get access to innovative medicines, and to do that while preserving the infrastructure that enables us to innovate.”
Click here to view a video recording of Bradway’s interview with Bloomberg TV.