CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MY LIFE IS WORTH IT, organized with the support of not-for-profit organizations, advocacy groups and patients, launches today to assure a major role for patients in discussions linking cost of therapies to access. MY LIFE IS WORTH IT says treatment decisions need to be based on benefit to the patient, not price, and patients need their doctors to be their allies, making decisions based explicitly on what is best for the patient’s health. The program will be launched with an exhibit booth at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, but is not affiliated with or endorsed by ASCO.
“We patients pay the insurance premiums, taxes and medical co-pays. We want to have a say in our medical care, not merely be told that we are a financial burden to society.”
“We need our doctors to wear white coats, not accountants’ green eyeshades,” says Robert Tufts, multiple myeloma patient and former Major League Baseball pitcher who now teaches at New York University. “We patients pay the insurance premiums, taxes and medical co-pays. We want to have a say in our medical care, not merely be told that we are a financial burden to society.”
MY LIFE IS WORTH IT was created on the premise that there is no average patient. Patients’ lives are not measured in scientific statistics, such as five-year median survival. Rather, the lives of people with cancer are measured in birthdays, graduations, weddings and anniversaries, making even small gains critically important to patients and to their loved ones.
“I helped create this campaign inspired by a courageous patient with advanced pancreatic cancer who would not take ‘no’ for an answer,” said Robert Goldberg, Ph.D., Vice President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, one of the founders of MY LIFE IS WORTH IT. “Lynne Jacoby, the patient I met, ignored her doctor’s pessimism, and instead, enrolled in a clinical trial. She lived a full and fulfilling year-and-a-half longer than her doctor expected, and continued to work and care for her family. What part of that was not worth it?”
MY LIFE IS WORTH IT is circulating a petition to submit to medical and congressional leaders to lay out its position:
1. WE, THE PATIENTS, EXPECT A SEAT AT THE TABLE
Any discussion of limiting the availability of critically needed therapeutics due to cost or other considerations must include patients.
2. OUR LIVES ARE NOT MEASURED BY HOW MUCH WE COST TO INSURERS OR HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS
Sometimes we may have months to live, but each moment with our families and loved ones counts.
3. WE NEED DOCTORS AS OUR PRINCIPAL ALLIES
Not as financial gatekeepers.
4. WE NEED FASTER ACCESS TO INNOVATIVE THERAPIES THAT ARE OUR LIFELINE
Cutting the regulatory time for potentially life-saving new therapeutics saves time, saves money and could save lives. We cannot wait.
Organizers want patients to sign this petition to generate an honest discussion about the value of innovative medicines. Patients can visitwww.MyLifeisWorthIt.org to sign the petition and to learn more about the issues surrounding this topic. Doctors, patients and advocates attending ASCO can visit booth #19163 to meet with patients and organizers in person.