lic wants the latest breakthroughs—not in years or in months, but today. Increasingly, researchers want and expect patients to be more interested, more informed, and more active about making health care choices, but the counterpoint to patient activism is patience with the time it takes to achieve that new breakthrough.
Can the current system continue to support these expectations? The promise of new developments in biotechnology, genetics, tissue engineering and, of course, computers and the Internet are transforming the industry, but researchers must continue to survey the innovation landscape and manage those hurdles, potholes, and inclement weather.
Chief among these issues is society’s definition of value and the evidence researchers will accept to prove that value. Researchers recognize that the process and products of innovation will continue to be tested. The bar is set high. Researchers need ongoing dialogue from all perspectives to define and redefine as necessary what they must achieve in clinical benefits and how they are willing to pay for these benefits. Solutions may not be easy and no one has all the answers, but it is at gatherings like this that researchers can put the issues on the table, provide practical and constructive review, and promote action to achieve their shared purpose of improving the health and quality of life for every American.