Should investment in medical innovation continue despite the bad economy?

"The health of our nation’s economy is inextricably linked to the health of our nation’s citizens – a connection made clear by the immense impact increasing Medicare costs will have on the Federal budget in the coming years, among many other examples” said Debra Lappin, president of Council for American Medical Innovation (CAMI). 

“Fortunately, innovations in the biomedical field have resulted in procedures, medicines and devices that not only improve patients’ health but significantly lower the cost of care. Unfortunately, such innovations require long term investments that are often eliminated in times of fiscal crisis. We are asking the deficit commissioners to consider the long term positive impact on the deficit of continued – and even increased – investment in medical and bioscience innovation today.”
CAMI strongly believes that to truly slow growth in health care spending, the nation needs to identify ways to better manage chronic disease – the biggest cost driver.  75 percent of what is spent on health care goes to treating chronic illnesses, and in Medicare and Medicaid, chronic disease treatment consumes 99 percent of what is spent. Developing treatments and drugs that help prevent, treat and possibly even cure chronic diseases will result in direct cost savings.
To develop those innovative treatments, however, requires investment today to enable the biomedical community to continue, and possibly even expand, its research.
“While we understand the tough choices the deficit commission will have to make in the coming months, CAMI and its partners urge the commissioners to weigh the tremendous long term cost benefit derived from policies that continue medical innovation investment today,” continued Lappin. “We welcome the opportunity to discuss this important issue with the commissioners as they develop their recommendations.”


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