Has medical innovation reduced cancer mortality?


Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 20 April 2010


Acton Lecture Theatre, #132 JG Crawford Building, ANU


Dr Frank Lichtenberg


Henry Keenan
6125 5559
Cancer mortality rates have declined significantly in both the U.S. and Australia in the last 15 years.
Professor Lichtenberg’s econometric analysis, which is based on extensive data on treatments given to large numbers of patients with different types of cancer since the early 1990s, indicates that two important types of medical innovation’diagnostic imaging innovation and pharmaceutical innovation’account for much of the decline in cancer mortality rates. His estimates indicate that life expectancy at birth of the entire U.S. population was increased by almost three months between 1996 and 2006 by the combined effects of cancer imaging and cancer drug innovation. This evidence contradicts the widely-held view that “the effect of new treatments for cancer on mortality has been largely disappointing.”

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