Comments by Eugene Garfield

    President, The Scientist
 Tel. 215-243-2205 - Fax: 215-387-1266

at the Award Ceremony of the
Eugene Garfield Economic Impact of Medical and Health Research Award 2007
Sponsored by Research!America
Washington, DC. October 9, 2007

Awardees: Tomas Philipson and Anupam B. Jena


I’m pleased to be here today for the presentation of this sixth annual award.

The purpose of the Garfield Award is to recognize important and innovative research that demonstrates the many economic benefits that medical and health research generates.
This is a subject that’s very important to me, as many of you know.  Conveying the idea that research contributes to our economy is a key part of Research!America’s approach to making the case to policy makers, the public, scientists and the media that research to improve health should be a higher priority.
It is not enough that we are aware of and accept this idea.  We have to make a convincing argument to others as well.

The studies recognized by this award provide evidence for that argument by assessing not only the hard dollars that research generates, through profits to industry, jobs created, etc., but also the broader value to society—putting an economic value on things that people often struggle to place value on, such as longer, healthier, more productive lives.

This year’s winners, Tomas Philipson and Anupam Jena, use a novel approach to measure the value of new HIV/AIDS drugs both for consumers and for producers of the drugs.  Based on the results, they recommend exploring ways to raise the value to producers of new HIV/AIDS treatments to encourage further innovation.

Their study has broad implications for the development of new medical technologies.  It highlights the balance between value to the public and the return on innovation to the producers of new therapies and technologies.  Their work breaks important ground for further exploration and discussion of the interplay between cost and impact of medical advances.

Now it is my privilege to introduce the chair of the committee charged with selecting this year’s award recipients.

Dr. Mark McClellan’s name is undoubtedly known to all of you from his service as the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and, before that, as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.  He is currently a visiting senior fellow at the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies and a member of Research!America’s board of directors.

Before joining the FDA, he was associate professor of economics and of medicine, a practicing internist, and director of the Program on Health Outcomes Research at Stanford University. He formerly served in the White House as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers and a senior policy director for health care.

His research has included improving the quality of health care, estimating the effects of medical treatments, technological change in health care and its consequences, and the relationship between health and economic well-being. He received his MD from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and his PhD in economics from MIT.

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