Among the public policy steps to be taken to improve national productivity, Michael Milken suggests the following in the WSJ:
• Support prevention. There's great concern with rising health-care costs, yet too often we overlook that the single best way to contain them is to keep people from getting sick in the first place. That starts with recognizing that lifestyles, not genes, are the biggest contributors to disease. Public and corporate programs aimed at even slight reductions in obesity, tobacco use and other damaging behaviors pay large social and economic dividends.
But there's more, especially concerning how US policy has discouraged pharmaceutical research in the last 20 years. The column is worth reading in its entirety.