At Premier FDA Solutions, our business is to help ensure the quality of life-saving and life-enhancing products our clients have developed and/or manufactured, and its availability to patients in need throughout the world. We are grateful to be helping the creators of the world’s most impactful innovations in a vibrant, patient-centric industry, the life sciences.
We all have people in our circle of friends and family who rely on products developed by the Life Science Industry to maintain their quality of life. In many cases, these products even keep our loved ones alive. Our job at Premier FDA Solutions is to support the cutting-edge risk-takers who develop these all-important products and to help them achieve their goals.
It is unfortunate that the majority of stories we read about the Life Science Industry are negative when therapeutic drugs are contributing so much to the well-being of society. While admittedly, the industry is not perfect, its main focus is to increase life expectancy and to improve quality of life. The fact is that a very large portion of our population desperately needs therapeutic drugs to maintain the level of health they desire. The Center of Disease Control reports that on average, 48.4% of persons in the U.S. have used at least one prescription drug in the past month and 24% have used at least three or more.
There are some truly impressive statistics in certain therapeutic areas, such as cancer, that illustrate the importance of drug development and treatment advances. For example, deaths from cancer in the U.S. have declined steadily in the past two decades, according to statistics reported by the American Cancer Society. As of 2017, the cancer death rate for men and women combined had fallen over 26% from its peak in 1991. This decline translates to nearly 2.4 million deaths averted during this time period. Just this month (January 2020), researchers have reported the largest-ever one-year decline in the U.S. cancer death rate, a drop they credited to advances in lung-tumor treatments. (1)
Sadly, these types of success stories do not always get reported with the same fervor as negative stories about the industry. There are millions of people who live a happier existence every day and experience less pain because of product innovations.
Here are a few recent life-changing medical advances that are worth noting:
- 3D printing, with its potential of reducing the cost of manufacturing prototypes, prosthetics, tissue and skin, and pharmaceuticals
- Innovative and quality of life-enhancing knee/hip replacement surgeries
- Laparoscopic surgery, otherwise known as minimally invasive surgery, has revolutionized surgery and the post-surgery recovery experience
- Precision medicine with human genome discoveries and stem cell research
- New advances in the treatment and diagnosis of heart disease leading to deaths dropping by 40%
- Health and fitness, and medical tracking wearables
- More effective AIDS treatments
The list of innovations, technological advances, and drug discoveries increase every year and improve our lives on a daily basis.
There is no denying that there is a financial component to these giant developments, and it is true that the cost of healthcare in this country is of concern, but it is hospitals, not drugs, that are the big driver of healthcare costs. Hospitals represent a third of total U.S. health-care spending, while drugs are only one-tenth. A new analysis in the journal Health Affairs shows that over the past four years, hospital spending jumped 15.2% while retail prescription-drug spending rose just 5.7%, less than the overall Consumer Price Index. (2)
The debate over the price of drugs goes on, but decreasing costs would also decrease innovations and advancements. (3) Are we really willing to pay that price?
At Premier FDA Solutions, we know the risks Life Science companies take and the hard work they put into getting their products approved, marketed, and distributed to the world. This is why we are such supporters and champions of the life science industry… and all those who work tirelessly in it.