The Value of Cancer Treatment

Medical innovations don’t matter if patients don’t have access to them. Making cancer treatment accessible to those who need them most stands as one of the top objectives for many patient advocates, policymakers, and members of the health care community. However, this goal is not always simple to achieve.

Leading experts in the oncology field shared their thoughts on the barriers that stand between patients and innovative new treatments and cures, including the cost of treatment. In the article, our very own Vice President for Lilly Oncology, Newt Crenshaw outlined, three realities of drug discovery that contribute to the price of medicines:

  • Research and development is complex and costly: Lilly spends $5 billion a year on R&D – the equivalent of paying for 4 skyscrapers a year.
  • Developing new medicines is risky: Less than 1 in 10 potential new cancer treatments receive approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Cancer medicines can provide the greatest benefit imaginable: a longer life.

As a survivor of diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma, Newt understands the distinction between the cost and value of medicine first-hand. His treatment provided him four years (and counting) with his family. As he writes, “I am not able to quote a number that captures the value of my cancer remission.”

When it comes to fighting cancer, we’re all in this together. By collaborating in a meaningful way, truly innovative and groundbreaking solutions become possible.