Letters to the Editor

The fate of research

What happens to Penn State research?

I attended two excellent research presentations of the Penn State Alumni Association’s Huddle with the Faculty series. One concentrated on preventative cancer measures. The other lecture focused on neuron regenerative techniques. The neuron research addressed the healing of damaged brain tissue. Stroke and Alzheimer’s victims would dramatically benefit by this research. Both presenters were dedicated, enthusiastic professionals whose work could improve the world.

The preventive cancer presentation was not a drug-based system. Will the pharmaceutical industries support methods that would reduce demand for their products and reduce their profits? The neuron receptive program requires FDA approvals and costly trials. Who will support a program that reduces the profits on patented drugs?

Securing patents and government validations for new products is an extremely slow and expensive process. U.S. patents provide monopolies for existing products, which results in exorbitant prices. U.S. patents are not restrictive overseas. Are we encouraging United States university research to be transported to foreign countries? What is the impact to America in the long run? This crisis is not limited to the health industry.

What can be done?

1) Researchers must proclaim their needs to support the development of their work.

2) Penn State leaders must support and be champions for Penn State research.

3) Citizens must demand access to new ideas and products in America.

4) Corporate leaders must realize that American research, if given a fair market chance, will create a stronger USA in the future.

Tom Seeman, Boalsburg