Progress on Cancer Moon­shot, other ef­forts will take big in­vest­ment

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT - Mary Wool­ley Pres­i­dent and CEO Re­search!Amer­ica Ar­ling­ton, Va.

Re­gard­ing “In fi­nal Cancer Moon­shot re­port, Bi­den lays out progress and ob­sta­cles” (Mod­ern Health­care.com, Oct. 17), bet­ter co­or­di­na­tion, more pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships, im­proved data-shar­ing and a pro-in­no­va­tion re­search in­fra­struc­ture will help meet Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den’s Cancer Moon­shot goal of achiev­ing 10 years of progress in five years. But a se­ri­ous com­mit­ment to “dou­bling the pace” of progress will re­quire the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors to con­sider dou­bling in­vest­ments in med­i­cal re­search to about $1,000 per Amer­i­can per year to find the so­lu­tions to what ails us—not only cancer, but di­a­betes, men­tal illness, Alzheimer’s and so much more.

In com­par­i­son to the costs of con­tin­u­ing the all too painful sta­tus quo, re­search at dou­ble the cost would be a bar­gain. A ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans (85%) agree, stat­ing that it is im­por­tant for can­di­dates run­ning for na­tional of­fice to as­sign a high pri­or­ity to in­creas­ing fund­ing for med­i­cal re­search, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey com­mis­sioned by Re­search!Amer­ica. The phi­lan­thropist and med­i­cal re­search ad­vo­cate Mary Lasker fa­mously said, “If you think re­search is ex­pen­sive, try dis­ease.” Let’s com­mit to stronger in­vest­ments in re­search to put cancer in the his­tory books. What are we wait­ing for?

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