SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in San Francisco Friday at Union Square’s St. Francis Hotel.

Leaders in business and government and APEC are actively looking for regulatory reform to improve health care around the world.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Life expectancy and quality of life vary widely among the 21 member countries of the APEC.

Health care giant Johnson and Johnson spends about $600 million a year in philanthropy, but getting drugs and materials to the people who need them most isn’t always easy.

“We work with countries, governments and NGO’s to try and see where people need it, where we can be of assistance,” said Johnson and Johnson chairman and CEO William Weldon.

Weldon is also looking at other avenues of working to get the products to the patients.

Health is seen as a driver for economic growth. U.S. Ambassador to APEC, Kurt Tong, said efforts are underway to harmonize regulation.

“To make them more transparent, more science based, more predictable,” Tong said.

Co-chair of APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum, Dr. Peter Sheehan said the goal is to have regulatory harmonization by 2020.

“There have been meetings going on in this town in the last couple of days with various senior representations from countries and organizations like the FDA.” Sheehan said

APEC conferences will continue through Tuesday.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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