Today is World Cancer Day -- an opportunity to contemplate advancements the health care community has made against cancer and the gaps that remain before us.
It's also an opportunity for John Lechleiter, our chairman, president, and CEO, to contemplate improvements our industry can incorporate into the battle against cancer. You can read more from John in his monthly Forbes column published earlier today. But in short: advancements in treatment have saved about 1.2 million lives over the last two decades. Unfortunately, mortality rates have improved at much slower rates over the last 10 years. That means we need to find more effective ways of addressing this difficult-to-treat disease.
That's where PACE comes in. PACE stands for Patient Access to Cancer care Excellence. It's a new Lilly program that is asking questions globally of caregivers, patients, and the public to better understand the mindset and barriers around cancer treatment. PACE also is looking at systematic barriers to medical innovation and patient access.
Among the comments we received in a global survey: pharmaceutical companies are more interested in treating cancer than eliminating it. As John wrote in Forbes: "My colleagues and I (in the industry) could not disagree more, but we need to show this to be wrong and not just say it. PACE is one way to show this."
With so much work ahead - and so many lives to save - all avenues are worth exploring.