Eli Lilly chairman and CEO John Lechleiter has described innovation in the biopharmaceutical industry as “broken” and has called on the industry to do more to address unmet medical needs.

Speaking at the opening of the company’s new biotechnology centre in San Diego the Lilly chief said that at a time when the world desperately needs more new medicines, we are taking too long, spending too much and producing far too little.

“Repowering pharmaceutical innovation is an urgent need not only for our company and our industry but for our nation,” Lechleiter said.

“Despite its value to healthcare, the biopharma industry is losing its advantage and wasting its potential.”

During his speech Lechleiter detailed some of the major challenges that the industry had to overcome.

These obstacles include a loss of trust in product safety and in the honesty of the pharmaceutical industry, a risk-averse policy and tough regulatory environment and a healthcare system that has led to policy makers targeting pharmaceutical companies for cost savings.

The CEO concluded that to reinvent biopharmaceutical research and development companies would have to regain the public’s trust, address the concerns of regulators and demonstrate to policymakers the value of innovative medicines.