With the population of Americans over 65 on the rise and life expectancy climbing, chronic diseases remain a principal threat to the health and productivity of older Americans, as well as to rising health care costs. Innovative medicines have led to major advances against many chronic diseases – and the robust discovery pipeline of new medicines portends continued progress for seniors and our health care system.
The more than 400 medicines in the pipeline for diseases prevalent among older Americans have tremendous potential to improve and extend the lives of seniors, and reduce costly emergency room visits, hospitalizations and surgical procedures.”
- 142 for diabetes, which affects 10.9 million Americans age 65 and older;
- 92 for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, which affect 1.3 million Americans and 12.4 million people over age 65, respectively;
- 82 for Alzheimer’s disease, which could afflict nearly 8 million people in the U.S. by 2030 unless a treatment or preventative measure is found;
- 48 for heart failure (affecting 5.8 million Americans) and ischemic heart disease; and
- 40 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which impacts more than 13 million adults, with the highest prevalence rate in those over age 65.
Now of course the anti-pharma coalition is going to say that we should not trust pharma to ensure that these drugs are safe and effective but I would remind them there are a hell of a lot of people who are living a better quality of life right now because of prescriptions drugs. One author seems to be making a lot of money going on the talk shows to try and convince people that pharma is evil and that they push drugs but I would argue that while he enriches himself he is looking at just one dark side of prescription drugs. My mother and father were both able to add years to their lives because of prescription drugs and they were quality years.
Pharma is not out of the shadows yet however. The industry needs to embrace transparency and make decisions like customers and patients are in the room when these decisions are made. People who willingly and knowingly put sales ahead of patients and make wrong decisions should be banned from working in the industry and above all the pharma industry cannot afford to let negative media overwhelm it with online buzz.