A Gathering Against Cancer and For Life

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  • 07/18/2007
CMPI held an event yesterday (as noted in my previous post) on Capitol Hill where it released a report entitled “The Effect of Chemotherapy
Innovation on Cancer Survival, 1991-2003: State Level Evidence from the SEERMedicare
Linked Database.” The report written by Dr. Frank R. Lichtenberg of Columbia University and the National Bureau of Economic Research in conjunction with the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest proves that using new cancer therapies is an effective way of lengthening the lives of cancer patients.

But it was more than your usual DC get out the report event. It was time to both celebrate what medical progress can provide and reassert the dying proposition that public policy should focus on what value medicines can add to people lives instead of what money can be squeezed from the lives of patients.

Michael Katz, VP of the International Myeloma Foundation http://www.myeloma.org/ spoke of not being a statistic because as a 17 year survivor of multiple myeloma, he should have been dead and not seen his three children grow and graduate college.

Congressman Mike Ferguson spoke of the joy he felt in hearing Michael's story and of the fact that his mom, who also had multiple myeloma, lived long enough to see her grandchildren. He spoke of the pride and joy he felt knowing that Celgene, the company that has developed a pill replacing blood transfusions for MM, is in his district.

Press events are usually canned activities but because of the people and passion that everyone brought, it was much more. I didn't know when we invited Mike that our event fell on the fourth anniversary of his mom's death. But it only reinforced our sense that CMPI's mission is, in Mike's words, to promote medical progress that saves and extends lives.

Thanks to everyone who made this possible.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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