Roswell Park Cancer Institute President and CEO Donald L. Trump, MD, was one of two presenters at a National Coalition for Cancer Research “Cancer 101” congressional briefing, “The Hidden Value of Cancer Research: Creating Jobs, Growing the American Economy,” May 13 in Washington, DC. His comments focused on the positive economic impacts from job creation and technology transfer as well the cost savings that result from medical advances.
Co-presenting with Dr. Trump was Richard Clinch, PhD, Director of Economic Research at the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute. Together, they discussed the economic impact of US biomedical research on federal, state and local economies. Legislative staffers attending the briefing heard from the panelists about the economic losses cancer causes in the US, the economic benefit cancer research creates in economies and methods of assessing those impacts.
The financial costs of cancer are great both at the individual level and on a global scale. The National Institutes of Health estimated the overall costs of cancer in the US in 2010 at $263.8 billion — with direct medical costs accounting for $102.8 billion of that total.
Cancer research helps to mitigate the impact of those costs — both by reducing the costs associated with medical treatment and mortality and by creating jobs for productive scientists and technicians. Every dollar of NIH funding for cancer research generates $2.11 dollars back into the economy, Dr. Trump noted. A reduction in federal investment in cancer research, he said, would not only hinder life-saving advances but would also make it difficult to both recruit and retain researchers.
And clinical research trials are not only a critical step in advancing new product development, they make up an industry worth more than $25 billion annually. New York State institutions conduct a high percentage of all phase-three clinical trials, the final investigatory stage on the path to federal approval of a therapy — and therefore a positive sign for continued economic impact.
Dr. Trump also discussed how patents reflect the output from research and development. From 2000-2004 alone, RPCI researchers were granted 74 patents — just one shy of all the biotech patents produced in that period from researchers in Israel, and significantly higher than the total numbers of biotech patents for Japan (45 patents), Germany (17), China (11) and India (8).
“Dr. Clinch and I were grateful for the opportunity to document these trends for this audience,” Dr. Trump said following the briefing. “Forums like this are important as a venue for educating our elected leaders and their staffs on the importance of cancer research and arming them with information they can use to advocate for critical federal investment.”
The National Coalition for Cancer Research (NCCR) is a nonprofit alliance of 23 national cancer-research and patient-advocacy organizations.