For World Health Day, the World Health Organization reminds us that “everyone, everywhere should be able to access essential, quality health services without facing financial hardship.”
This is particularly true in light of today’s progress to finding innovative treatments for chronic and acute diseases. New medicines are transforming care for patients fighting cancer, hepatitis C, high cholesterol and more. We are in a new era of medicine, and the advancements made by biopharmaceutical researchers can be seen in a number of areas:
- Deaths from heart disease have dropped from 412,000 in 1980 to 168,000 in 2015, and in 2013, after being the third or fourth leading cause of death for 75 years, stroke moved to the fifth spot.
- In the United States, 16 diseases are now preventable as a result of childhood vaccines resulting in an estimated $1.4 trillion in societal costs saved.
- In 1981, life expectancy for a patient with HIV/AIDS was measured in weeks and months. Today, a 20-year-old with HIV could now live to age 78—the same life expectancy for the general U.S. population.