Week in Review: The Price of Innovation & Patient Well-Being

Week in Review: The Price of Innovation & Patient Well-Being

05.30.14 | By

The cost of innovative new medicines to treat devastating diseases such as cancer and Hepatitis C has been a hot discussion topic this week. A critical part of this discussion – the value of these treatments – however, has been overlooked. As our President and CEO John Castellani said, focusing solely on the cost of a new treatment and ignoring its subsequent value is “penny wise and pound foolish” because prescription medicines provide patients and the health care system long-term cost savings.

Our own Robert Zirkelbach walked us through the facts when examining the cost and value of prescription medicines through a series of easy-to-read charts. He noted that prescription medicines accounted for just five percent of overall health care spending growth from 2008-2012, which represented an 11 percent decrease when compared to spending from 1998-2002. Eighty-six percent of the prescriptions filled last year were generic, so it’s important to note that the cost is largely due to patients paying more out-of-pocket, which is illustrated in the chart below.  


To build on the value discussions this week, we asked experts to weigh in on the future of patient-centered research through our Conversations forum. The war on cancer has resulted in tremendous progress over the past 50 years, increasing life expectancy and transforming hopes into cures for our nation’s patients. Read what experts had to say on how we can continue to promote cancer research and reduce the burdens on patients here.

The conversation on cost and value will continue as the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) annual meeting begins today and lasts through the weekend. We’re glad to be attending the meeting and look forward to hearing what experts have to say. Check The Catalyst and follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #ASCO14 this weekend for more.  



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