Medicines are enhancing the quality and length of life for patients. For example, according to PhRMA’s Key Facts 2016, since peaking in the 1990s, cancer death rates have declined 23%, and approximately 83% of survival gains in cancer are attributable to new treatments, including medicines.
Prescription drugs help to limit the potential economic impact of chronic diseases, by helping to prevent their costly consequences. When used appropriately, medicines support patients by helping to prevent disease complications, unnecessary emergency department visits, hospitalizations and other healthcare services. For example, a study of ELIQUIS® (apixaban) in patients with venous thromboembolism indicated that ELIQUIS significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization versus treatment with placebo, irrespective of other variables. Factors such as these can significantly alleviate demands on patients’ time, and reduce their costs and risk of inappropriate care. Treatment with medicines can also be associated with improvement in productivity through reduced absenteeism and use of disability leave, which also yield important contributions to the economy at large.
Evidence suggests that inappropriate use of medicines — such as poor medication adherence, suboptimal prescribing and medication errors—result in an estimated $213 billion in avoidable healthcare costs each year, representing 8% of the nation’s healthcare spending and providing an opportunity to produce substantial savings for the health system at large, according to PhRMA’s 2016 Profile on the Biopharmaceutical Research Industry.
Other indirect benefits include a number of our philanthropic activities which have a notable economic impact on local communities and individuals.