The Public Needs to Know
Zachary R. Dickerson
Prof. Matt Norsworthy
English Composition I
08 May 2013
The World Needs to Know
In the time that it takes you to read this sentence, someone in the world will have died of cancer. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in world, accounting for around 7.6 million deaths alone in the year 2008(WHO, 2013). With such an overwhelming fatality rate (as seen in figure1-1), it is paramount for medical research to continue to provide new and improved treatments for patients.
The business behind cancer is one of high risk and even higher cost. While the focus is on creating treatments that are more and more effective, it is often stifled by the process to get approved. To look at it frankly, most radical treatments never make it off the ground due to the Federal Department of Agriculture. The cost incurred by the company developing the new treatment can be around 500 million dollars. In no way can these small startup companies afford this massive purse. Worse still, if the results are found inconclusive, the treatment must go through yet another clinical trial all over again. This is one of the main problems with the economics of cancer treatments. According to an article in business week a study found “That only 8% of experimental cancer drugs end up receiving FDA approval” (Arnst, 2008). The fact that so much time and resources are spent on drugs that will never see the market is a huge impact on the problem as a whole. The time, money and resources that go into each individual treatment are almost guaranteed to be a failed investment.
With cancer being a billion dollar industry, one can only assume that the price is passed down to the patient. It is estimated that in 2008 alone, the total cost of cancer was a staggering $201.6 billion (National Institutes of Health, 2008). This is quite the problem when you…...