There are many policy areas influenced by medical innovation, most notable are healthcare and the economy. The health side often focuses on patient outcomes while the economic side includes jobs, competitiveness and cost of treatment. This post focuses on the former, but expect future blogs evaluating specific economic outcomes related to medical innovation.
First, a few statistics will help frame the discussion. Innovation in medicine has been credited with lowering the number of deaths from heart attack by 50%, stroke by 30% and breast cancer by 20%. Given that over 1.2 million Americans suffer a heart attack in any given year and is the nation's leading killer of men and women; it is clear that such innovations save countless lives.
The outcomes for advances in cardiovascular disease is are staggering as well. David Cutler of Harvard explains that "the average person aged 45 will live three years longer than he used to solely because medical care for cardiovascular disease has improved."
Medicine is often overlooked in the world of innovation. Flashy gadgets often take center stage while advances in the treatment of kidney disease float beneath the radar. We must push our policy makers to take notice of the Value of Medicine and advancements in biomedical sciences in order to encourage them to support further life saving innovation. After all, what alternative do we have?