Innovative medicines developed by biopharmaceutical companies are instrumental in helping patients live longer and healthier lives. Since 2000, more than 500 new medicines have been brought to the U.S. market, resulting in significant progress against some of the most challenging diseases such as cancer, osteoarthritis, hepatitis C, and diabetes. Positive gains in patient health can also translate into a societal value of billions of dollars every year by improving productivity.
Medicines can shift the treatment paradigm toward prevention by allowing patients to avoid expensive hospital visits and long-term care. For example, the newest generation of hepatitis C medicines cures patients of the disease, helping them avoid long-term liver damage like cirrhosis which can require a liver transplant costing as much as $500,000 and years of costly follow-up care. And when patients with congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol adhere to their medications, studies show that, every additional dollar spent on medicines generated $3 to $10 dollars in savings on reduced emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations.
Too often the discussion of medicines focuses on the cost and not the social health and economic value of treatments. That is why we are launching a new blog series: Costs and Consequences to highlight the health care burden of not treating diseases.
Be sure to check in with The Catalyst for future posts. We look forward to sharing more about the benefits of medicines and hope that you will share your thoughts to the comments section below.
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