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The global president of Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals said innovation will continue to be a key driver for the biopharmaceutical industry as the U.S. population ages, healthcare budgets shrink and pressure mounts to produce new and affordable treatments.

In a keynote speech at Rutgers Business School's annual healthcare symposium, Dieter Weinand highlighted some of the industry's biggest challenges, including the increasing complexity of drug development and the continued need for reflecting innovation in drug pricing.

Weinand said outcomes-based data may begin to better guide the industry's use of differential pricing of prescription drugs. But differential pricing, he said, "cannot come at the cost of innovation."

The annual healthcare symposium is one of Rutgers Business School's signature thought leadership events, providing a showcase for the pharmaceutical management program as well as the Blanche and Irwin Lerner Center for the Study of Pharmaceutical Management Issues. The event offers students, faculty, alumni and industry professionals a unique opportunity to hear high-level executives speak candidly about issues impacting the biopharmaceutical business.

Professor Mahmud Hassan, who is also director of the Lerner Center, opened the symposium by noting that it allows for the "exchange of ideas" that is at the heart of the center's purpose. Hassan also noted that Rutgers Business School was recently listed among the Top 5 in the world for MBA students who want to focus their studies on pharmaceutical management.

Weinand's talk set the stage for a morning-long discussion, which included remarks from a number of leading industry executives and questions from the audience. In addition to pricing, the speakers exchanged views on the unsustainability of the current U.S. healthcare system as well as the industry's current focus on developing specialty drugs.

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