(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
Over 60 percent of deaths in India are due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and cardiovascular disease, which are also responsible for about 70 percent of spending on healthcare. They also affect the economic health of the country, with NCDs and mental illness expected to cost India $4.58 trillion between 2012 and 2030.
1. Cancer money:
The Stand Up to Cancer telethon -- simulcast Friday night on all four major broadcast networks and 28 cable channels, and live-streamed on Yahoo and Hulu (available on YouTube here) -- reminded me of a story I have long wanted to read: How much money is being spent on cancer research, where is it going and how well is it being spent?
It is with great sorrow that we learned that our much beloved and admired colleague, Debra Sherman, died yesterday morning in Chicago after battling lung cancer for more than a year. Deb’s signature mix of humor and moxie made her a fierce reporter and wonderful friend to so many of her colleagues around the world. She covered healthcare for more than a decade, breaking news on the medical device industry and writing considered pieces on such subjects as the rising financial toll posed by a cancer diagnosis.
In a March 27 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, a team led by physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital revealed that a new cancer drug from Novartis has shown exciting clinical results in a small trial of lung cancer patients. While additional trials are necessary before the drug can obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration, this type of success story demonstrates why research to develop new cancer therapies is critically important.