Changing the World
Welcome to another edition of Riding in Cars With Researchers! I am Dr. Jeff Kingsley and I want to change the world! We are going to do a two-part series on changing the world. Today we are going to talk about the cost of healthcare.
The largest driver of the cost of healthcare today is pharmaceutical cost. Drugs, devices, and biologics that we have to use in healthcare today are a prime driver of what drugs cost. Why are drugs so expensive? It’s due to research taking so long and costs so much.
Research Takes Too Long
Research takes 15-20 years. If a brilliant biochemist invents or discovers the cure to cancer in 2018, it will likely reach the patients who desperately need it in 2033. It should not take 15 years! It takes 2.9 billion dollars to get a new drug to market. If we can improve the research trial process, gain more physician and patient participation, and improve the efficiency of the process throughout, we could do research that doesn’t take 15-20 years but takes 7-10 years. This is not a pipe dream – that is a reality. If we learn to improve processes that we could adopt from other industries, thus improving the efficiency of research, we could take innovations through the process in 7-10 years for a fraction of the cost it is today.
Research Costs Too Much
What would that do to healthcare costs? That would reduce the cost of these innovations when they reach the market. It would have an impact on every one of us by reducing the out of pocket healthcare costs, lower the cost of health insurance, lower the cost of our taxes that are funding Medicare and Medicaid. That’s how you change the world. You change the world by improving these efficiencies.
I talked about the inefficiencies of research trials and did you know on average a research trial that goes over its intended timeline due to not finding patients fast enough, it costs $1m a day for trials that exceed their timeline. If we improve participation and improve efficiency, we can change the world. That’s what excites me – that’s what I want to do – I want to change the world.
Thanks for riding along!
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