Event Recap: The Economist’s War on Cancer: Scaling Progress Forum
On September 28, The Economist brought together leaders and experts in health care to discuss the “War on Cancer: Scaling Progress.”
“In spite of the significant progress that has been made in treating these deadly diseases, such as faster and more precise technologies and more collaborative health models, cancer is still among the leading causes of death worldwide,” the Economist notes.
The full-day conference explored a range of topics — from the importance of innovation to the opportunities from precision medicine. Our co-founder and policy director Jonathan Wilcox joined a long list of distinguished panelists, including:
- Josh Ofman, senior vice-president, global value, access and policy, Amgen
- Kyu Rhee, Chief health officer, IBM
- Lowell Schnipper, Chair, value in cancer task force, American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Kathy Giusti, Founder, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
- Amitabh Chandra, Director, health policy research, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
- Stacey Worthy, Director, public policy, Aimed Alliance
On behalf of everyone at Patients Rising, we’d like to extend our thanks and appreciation to The Economist for hosting a thoughtful discussion. Keep reading for a recap on a range of topics.
War on Cancer: Innovation is the only hope for patients
Above all else, patient advocates say that the focus must remain on innovation.
“The only hope patients have, even for those receiving advanced treatments, is medical innovation,” explained Jonathan Wilcox, our co-founder and policy director. “If innovations aren’t getting to market, then that’s the problem to attack.”
Lowell Schnipper added that health care providers must celebrate innovation and do nothing to impede innovation.
Ultimately, medical innovation will reduce the costs of cancer care, expanding access for all patients.
War on Cancer: Let’s build a patient-centered, patient-friendly framework
As more organizations put forward value frameworks, several panelists emphasized the need to develop a patient-centered, patient-friendly framework.
“As long as we are considering that patients and their medicines are too expensive to treat and too costly to save, we will set up a system in which patients will never win,” said Jonathan Wilcox, our co-founder and policy director. “We’re going to have to move towards the development and distribution to a new patient-centered, patient-friendly framework.”
He added, “If patients aren’t first, they can never be placed first at the forefront of any system.”
From research to treatment, Kathy Giusti of Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation – MMRF emphasized that patients deserve to know what to do in every phase of their journey.
“Every patient and doctor is unique,” added patient advocate Eliza Adams. “Patients are not averages, they’re individuals.”
Quote of the Day: 54 Million Life Years Gained, $5 Trillion Value
We constantly hear health care spending described as a cost or expense. But, what about the value that’s generated?
Josh Ofman, senior vice-president of global value, access and policy at Amgen, pointed out the value generated by life-saving treatments.
“54 million life years have been gained over the last 2 decades,” Ofman noted, “almost 5 trillion dollars in economic value.”
Social Media: Get Engaged #WaronCancer