Who Are The Most Powerful People in Healthcare?

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  • 12/10/2014
  I think people living with cancer will be a powerful political force in the years to come.   More powerful than the HIV community was in the 1980s.  This political force will right the wrongs and tear down the obstacles that have made progress against cancer slower than is scientifically possible.   I predict the new cancer advocacy will be the vanguard in reforming Obamacare, holding greedy health insurers to account and reducing the cost and time required to develop and access new medicines.  

There is a growing awareness that science of attacking cancer is reaching a critical mass and is producing a truly transformational approach to treatment: one that re-engineers our natural immune responses to do the job of not just killing cancer cells but teaches the remaining ones to start become healthy.    

There is a growing awareness that the way insurers have shifted cost to patients is discriminatory and that the claim that it’s a reaction to high prices is bogus. 

There is a growing recognition that the value new medicines yield must be measured in terms of every month of every life gained.   More people are alive today because each era of treatments keeps people alive longer for the next generation of therapies that improve and lengthen life even more.  

And there is a growing recognition that the pace of progress is too damn slow, too dependent on outdate scientific methods that require people dying of disease to be randomized to different treatments or different combinations of treatments in ways that have little to do with their unique and increasingly accessible biological differences.  

There is an increasing emphasis on improving the quality of life and the fact being treated for cancer does not mean being treated like a victim.   

And finally, people are increasingly aware that by sharing information more quickly about the real world experience with medicines is the most scientific and efficient way to cure cancer.

I am honored to be part of this courageous community of advocates, patients, scientists and biopharmaceutical companies that express their awareness with growing discontent with the status quo.   As Thomas Edison said: “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”


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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