Innovation has a large role to play in the sustainability of our healthcare system.
Preventing or curing disease not only helps Canadians’ health, it also benefits our healthcare system and our economy, as we spend more time enjoying life and being productive members of our communities.
Ensuring Canadians have access to the innovative treatments they need, when they need them is a fundamental part of ensuring healthcare system sustainability for generations to come.
The value of innovative medicines to the healthcare system is substantial. A ground-breaking 2012 study by Frank R. Lichtenberg from Columbia University found that life expectancy was significantly higher in countries that had access to, and used, newer medications. An earlier study by Dr. Lichtenberg concluded that investing in innovative medications saves money elsewhere in the healthcare system by a significant margin. For every $1 spent on new medications, non-medication expenses dropped by more than $7.
A 2013 study published by the Conference Board of Canada examined the health and economic benefits associated with pharmaceutical spending in Ontario from 2007 to 2012. The research concluded that spending $1.22 billion generated offsetting health and societal benefits of nearly $2.44 billion — a 2:1 benefit-to-cost ratio that increases over time. Some of the benefits included reduced demand for hospital services and increased productivity in the workplace. And that’s not to mention the fact that innovative treatments have also helped us manage – and often eradicate – diseases that were once devastating and very costly to our healthcare system.