Welcome to ValueOfInnovation.org. This is not just a website. It is a rallying point and resource for the individuals and organizations dedicated to creating a world free from cancer.
Too often, medical innovation against cancer has been both undervalued and even identified as a problem to be eradicated. That's one reason why we are seeing preservation of the status quo, instead of seeing the changes that are necessary to truly accelerate progress.
Most people don't know that since 1990, new cancer therapies generated 43 million additional life-years for people living with cancer? Those additional life-years created $4.7 trillion in economic value. Every dollar we spend on new cancer medicines reduces spending on hospitals and doctors by $7. Such innovative treatments account for less than 2% of total healthcare spending. They are the leading source of longer life, lower healthcare costs, and greater economic growth.
Personalized therapies are the leading edge of this progress. Unfortunately, it takes longer than ever for new medicines to get FDA approval. Health plans are requiring people to pay more and wait longer for innovations that save lives. Their goal is to save money, yet this short-sighted approach may actually increase overall health-care spending.
We need five fundamental changes how we develop and use cancer therapies. These five changes are based on the pioneering work of oncologists and are being supported by patients and advocacy groups. These changes all flow from one clear and very simple idea: that people with cancer should have faster access to new medicines that address the specific gene mutations that caused their tumor.
- At least 50% of The National Institutes of Health's cancer research activity and funding should be invested in identifying genetic pathways and mutations, not disease.
- If we can identify the patients who will benefit most from new treatments that address specific genetic pathways, the FDA should approve those medicines as soon as those benefits are demonstrated.
- We should expand the mapping of individual genomes to accelerate the matching of treatments to the genetic source of tumors and treatment response. Each tumor has a unique genome.
- We should match tumors to treatment at initial diagnosis. Treatment targeted to the genetic profile of that particular tumor should begin within 24 hours.
- Health plans — public and private — should pay for this personalized therapy. And patients should not be required to pay more for pills than for intravenous chemotherapy.
These reboots will be the result of patients, doctors and researcher knowing and sharing their genomic information about cancers using online apps and social networks. These virtual cure communities will define what treatments and mutations to study and use.
The American inventor Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
We hope to demonstrate that the existing approach to medical innovation, while serving us well, is outdated and to support the building of a new model that can lead to a world free from cancer.
We would like to thank the advocates supporting this site who believe and understand in the value of medical innovation, including Robert Goldberg, Frank Lichtenberg, Kathleen O'Connell, Eric Topol, Alianza GIST, the AMEN Foundation, BioMagnetic Solutions, Cancer Genetics Inc., Celgene, CureLauncher, Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, Educational Concepts in Medicine, Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Inc., the Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease Research, the John Theurer Cancer Center, Kick Cancer Overboard, Mastocytosis Society Inc., the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the Patient Access Network Foundation, Sanguine Biosciences, the Sarcoma Alliance and the Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome Foundation.
The Value of Medical Innovation initiative invites researchers, advocates, policy makers, patients, healthcare professionals, and industry members to join us and help spread the Value of Innovation message.