Fifty Million Life-Years Saved Through Medical Innovation

December 7, 2014 01:54 AM EST

We would like to invite you to read a new editorial by Stacey Worthy, policy director for the Alliance for the Adoption of Innovations in Medicine.

When asking what medical innovation is truly worth, Worthy responds:

From the standpoint of the Alliance for the Adoption of Innovations in Medicine (Aimed Alliance), the answer is unequivocal: the return on investment (ROI) has been substantial. Simply put, while the cost of developing novel therapies can run as high as $5 billion per medicine, according to a recent article in Forbes Magazine, medical innovation has saved more than 50 million life-years in the United States since 1990, dramatically reduced the burden to the healthcare system, and helped expand our economy.”

Turning specifically to innovation’s impact on cancer, she reports, “Today, almost 70 percent of patients live at least five years after a cancer diagnosis, and there are approximately 14 million cancer survivors, up from 6 million in 1990.”

Worthy goes on to call for policymakers to make necessary changes to spur innovation and accelerate patient access to the resultant therapies, adding, “patients will be better served by policy solutions that reduce the time and costs of bringing new therapies to market instead of a lot of finger-pointing. To be clear, innovative medicines come with costs. However, the benefits of cutting-edge treatments – to patients, the healthcare system, and the economy – are many times greater than their price tag.”

Read Stacey Worthy’s full editorial here.

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