From Hope to Cures: The Value of Biopharmaceutical Innovation and New Drug Discovery

Biopharmaceutical innovation and new drug discovery delivers far-reaching benefits to patients, the U.S. health care system and our state and national economies. New medicines discovered and developed by America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are helping people lead longer, more productive lives, controlling healthcare costs and stimulating the economy through high-quality jobs and a healthier workforce.

Saving & Improving Lives

New medicines are enabling more people than ever before to live longer, healthier lives. In recent years, prescription medicines have played a key role in achieving dramatic declines in death rates from diseases such as cancer heart disease and HIV/AIDS. When used appropriately, medicines can halt or slow disease progression, minimize complications, improve quality of life, prevent hospitalizations and surgeries, and avert debilitating diseases. PhRMA member companies’ commitment to innovation is a driving force behind such medical progress and new drug discovery. 

Improving Value of Health Care

Would you invest $1 to save $2? How about a savings of $4 to-$7 for every $1 spent on medication for patients who have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure? That is precisely what many medicines are doing for our health care system. Innovative medicines are preventing costly complications of chronic diseases, reducing the number of visits to the emergency room, length of hospital stays, and helping patients avoid major surgeries. For example, University of Chicago economists found that reducing cancer death rates by 10 percent would be worth roughly $4.4 trillion in economic value to current and future generations.

Strengthening the Economy

The biopharmaceutical sector directly supports more than 810,000 jobs nationwide, and each of those jobs translates into additional spending on construction, childcare, retail, and more—adding up to approximately four million jobs for Americans. In addition, new and better medicines are getting people back to work, reducing unemployment and disability, and helping to increase productivity.

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