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January 17, 2011

Healthcare Innovation a 2011 Consumer Priority


According to a survey commissioned by the Council for American Medical Innovation (CAMI) and conducted from Jan. 6-10, Americans overwhelmingly believe that failure on the part of U.S. policymakers to invest more in medical innovation today will have a “significant long-term impact” on quality of life, employment and economic growth.

Respondents were evenly divided over whether the United States is losing its edge as the world’s leader in medical innovation and research, expressing concern about the possible loss of U.S. advances in health outcomes during the next decade.

“Never before in our history has there been a greater opportunity to create jobs, grow our economy and deliver the treatments, cures and breakthroughs necessary to combating the world’s most pressing medical challenges,” said Dick Gephardt, former U.S. House Majority Leader and current co-chair of CAMI. “It’s a time sensitive opportunity, but very real, and in many ways, one that comes along once in a generation - one that's ours to lose if we don't take the correct actions today.”

“When you think about it, medical innovation can best be characterized as a human and economic value proposition that our nation simply cannot turn down,” said Mike Leavitt, former Utah Governor, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and current co-chair of CAMI. “In short, value for our economy, for our competitiveness, for our ability to create jobs, and above all, for our long-term health and wellness. The more we work together to make this issue a national priority today, the stronger our nation will be 5, 10 and 15 years from now. If we rise to the occasion now, the dividends, both economic and human, will be paid in multiples for years to come."

The Healthcare Innovation Survey findings include the following:

Two-Thirds of Americans Believe Medical Innovation will Lower Healthcare Costs: Sixty-six percent believe investing in medical innovation and research in the United States to help prevent and cure diseases will ultimately lower overall healthcare costs.

More Than Half Favor Increased Investment: Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe the federal government should spend more on medical innovation and research in order to address health problems such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

Jobs and Cures Top of Mind: Forty-eight percent list jobs and economic growth as top reasons why it is important for the U.S. to be the global leader in medical innovation and research. Equally, 48 percent list the development of new treatments and cures as top reasons.

“In this new era of divided government, it’s unusual to see an issue that has the potential to unite Democrats, Republicans and Independents,” said pollsters, Stan Greenberg and Bill McInturff. “Medical innovation, with the significant benefits it offers to our economy and overall health and well being, represents an opportunity for consensus across party lines.”

In conjunction with its Jan. 12 conference, “Medical Innovation at the Crossroads,” CAMI released a new Web video that highlights the impact that medical innovation has had on Americans’ way of life.


Dr. Cronin is a Professor of Management in the Information Systems Department at Boston College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

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