Value of Medical Innovation Campaign To Focus on Making Cancer Treatment
Predictive, Personalized, Preventive and Participatory
Initiative Centered around Six-point Plan-of-action and New Life-Years-Saved
Clock that Tracks Real-time Progress
CHICAGO, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Citing a world free from cancer
by 2050 as its goal, a partnership of patients, researchers, advocacy groups and
innovators led by the Center for Medicine in The Public Interest (CMPI) today
launched the Value of Medical Innovation (VOI) (ValueOfInnovation.org)
initiative. The initiative advocates for advances in patient-centered innovation
and transformational change in how society develops and uses new cancer
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130604/NY25397LOGO-a )
(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130604/NY25397-b )
"Business as usual won't cut it," said Robert Goldberg, PhD, CMPI vice president
and VOI founder. "Insurance companies, hospitals, drug companies, and even the
FDA are entrenched in a system that pays them for research and treatment focused
on the cancer, not the patient."
The cornerstone of the VOI initiative for a world free from cancer is a
six-point plan designed to challenge conventional approaches, revolutionize
cancer treatment and elevate appreciation for the value of medical innovation.
The plan's progress will be monitored by a Life-Years-Saved (LYS) Clock.
LYS Clock to Chart Progress
The newly launched LYS Clock will measure real-time progress in extending lives
as well as calculate the economic benefits that result. The LYS Clock will be
used to assess the impact of the action plan and chart headway made in reaching
the 2050 goal.
"Cancer patients living longer, better lives has added $4.7 trillion to our
economy," said Dr. Goldberg. "That's an incredible return for what we've
invested in new cancer therapies."
The six-point plan aims to speed innovation by making cancer treatments
predictive, personalized, preventive and participatory.
1. Put patients in charge of cancer research
Cancer patients should use online communities to test treatments, design studies
and determine better ways to tackle their illness. They already keep tabs on
their health and follow their progress with fitness monitors and tablets.
Research should be shaped by these real-time, real world experiences in
combination with an understanding of the genetic mechanisms that make their
particular type of tumor tick. Eric Topol, author the Creative Destruction of
Medicine observes, "It is time for the rise of the consumers to drive the future
of medicine. It is their DNA, their medical data, their cell phones, and their
own health at stake."
2. Replace one-size-fits-all research with personalized cancer studies
It took nearly a billion dollars and 10 years for the Human Genome Project to
develop a detailed genetic map. Genomes now can be sequenced in a few hours for
under $500. We should leverage advances such as this to personalize medicine to
an individual's illness with a targeted cure.
Several cancer organizations, including the International Myeloma Foundation,
StandUp2Cancer and the Sarcoma Foundation of America, require researchers they
fund to look for genetic cues that could lead to cures. That should be the rule,
not the exception.
3. Drastically cut the time it takes to develop new cancer medicines to as
little as two years
It takes 8 to twelve years, on average, to develop a cancer drug, which is often
longer than the development timeframe for drugs that treat other diseases. Most
of the time and effort is spent on testing medicines in people that we know
won't deliver a therapeutic benefit. A focus on the patient and his or her
genetic signature would help identify better therapies sooner. That would lead
to faster approval time frames for cancer medications.
4. Require health plans to pay for personalized medicines
Advances in cancer treatment are saving lives and cutting health-care costs. But
many health-insurance plans haven't caught up with the times. Nearly half of all
cancer patients are forced to choose between a treatment that could save their
lives or the one that's covered by their plan. Insurers should pay for the right
treatment for the right patient and not shift the cost to patients in the
5. Create charter cancer communities that focus on the value of care
Under existing health care regulations, innovations that save money are often
pitted against services that lose money. Like public charter schools, charter
cancer communities would have greater flexibility to use and pay for the
combination of treatments that deliver the best value. And they would be
accountable to the member organizations and to the patients they serve.
6. Provide a one-stop website connecting patients to important groups and
Doctors and hospitals often can't provide enough resources, staff or technical
support to help patients with the emotional, economic and physical aftershocks
of cancer. What's needed is an online service that would simplify the search for
advocacy groups and disability coverage. The website would also assist patients
in obtaining services and handling hotel and travel bookings related to
Since 1990, new cancer medicines have doubled the number of cancer survivors
from six million to 13 million, resulting in 43 million additional life-years
gained by treatment advances. Every dollar spent on new cancer medicines reduces
spending on hospitals and doctors by seven dollars. All told, innovative
treatments account for only about one percent of total health care spending.
"Many people believe that in the war on cancer we get too little benefit for too
much money," said Dr. Goldberg. "We have 43 million reasons to prove them
The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, nonpartisan
research and educational organization that seeks to advance the discussion and
development of patient-centered health care.
SOURCE Center for Medicine in The Public Interest