From Hope to Cures: The Value of Biopharmaceutical Innovation

Ieva M. Augstums   |     August 20, 2015   |   SHARE THIS

Biopharmaceutical innovation means more than helping patients lead longer, healthier, more productive lives. Through the continued development of new treatments and cures, each discovery contributes valuable knowledge to the research and development process--improving patients’ lives, advancing medical innovation and fueling economic growth. Take a look below at the positive impact the process of finding new treatments and cures has on our everyday lives.


Working for Patients

Did you know that medicines have helped raise average U.S. life expectancy to 78 years from 47 years? Biopharmaceutical companies create medicines that provide patients with hope and new treatments are increasing survival rates and raising cure rates for various cancers and other diseases. For example, new hepatitis C therapies have yielded a cure rate exceeding 90 percent.

Advancing Science

Most people do not stop to think about what it takes to bring a new medicine to market. On average it takes more than 10 years and costs $2.6 billion to research and development a new medicine. With more than 500 new medicines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 2000, significant advancements are typically the result of cumulative innovation over time.

Improving Health Care

Medicines allow patients to live longer and healthier lives as well as avoid expensive hospital care by slowing, treating and curing diseases. For example, if non-adherent patients with diabetes were to become adherent and follow their doctor’s treatment plan, hospitalizations and emergency room visits could be avoided and yield nearly $5 billion in medical savings.  

Strengthening Our Economy

The biopharmaceutical sector drives economic growth in the US, with an overall economic impact of $789 billion on an annual basis. More than 810,000 people work in the biopharmaceutical industry in the US and contribute to its significant work.


Ieva M. Augstums

Ieva M. Augstums Ieva (YEH-vuh), Deputy Vice President of Public Affairs, joined PhRMA in 2014 and now oversees all branding and paid advertising, including PhRMA’s national multi-year GOBOLDLY campaign. She reported on the 2008 financial crisis and other financial market news during ten years as a journalist at the Dallas Morning News and the Associated Press, then directed national campaigns at a Washington-based strategic communications and brand consulting firm. A native Nebraskan, Ieva is a proud mother of two, dreams of opening a paperie and never passes up an opportunity to lace up for a rave run.

Topics: Research and Development, Economic Impact, Patients, From Hope to Cures

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