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Better Health, Longer Lives: The Case for Paying for New Drugs

Tuesday December 2003


Frank R. Lichtenberg Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business, Department of Finance and Economics Columbia Business School

Longevity has increased throughout the world during the last half century. Indeed, underdeveloped nations have experienced much more rapid growth in longevity than their developed counterparts.

Until very recently, however, medical progress received very little credit for the global increase in human lifespan, with most observers attributing increases in longevity to education, nutrition, or per capita income. That, however, is beginning to change. Dr. Lichtenberg will explain the relationship between new drugs, better health and human longevity. His research suggests that investing in the next generation of drugs and medical devices literally allows millions of people to live longer, healthier lives.