updated: 4/13/2012 12:24:45 PM

Lechleiter: Medical Advancements ‘Mind Boggling’

Wayne Pratt, InsideINdianaBusiness.com

 He believes the impact of medical innovation over the past century "is nothing short of mind boggling."

The chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) is using a new position to continue his efforts to advance medical innovation. In his first speech as chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America trade group, John Lechleiter attempted to rally the industry to stand up for innovation-supportive policies. He says advancements in the medical sector continue to save lives. Lechleiter points to the national death rate from coronary heart disease, which has declined by about two-thirds since 1968.

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Lechleiter says there are about one million Americans who lived last year, who likely would have died without advancements in heart research since the 1960s. He also cites American Cancer Society data showing the death rate from all cancers between 1991 and 2007 dropped 17 percent.

Lechleiter points to the average American life expectancy, which was 47 in 1900 and reached 78 in 2000.

He says the economic payback of people living longer and better lives amounts to years of additional work production, consumer spending and tax dollars paid. Lechleiter believes those factors outweigh the increasing costs of medical treatment.

He is calling on members of the bio-pharma community to do a better job at telling the stories connected to medical advancements over the past century.

Source: Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

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