On December 2, Frank Lichtenberg, the Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business, was presented with Research!America’s 2010 Garfield Economic Impact Award, which honors the outstanding work of economists who demonstrate how medical and health research impacts the economy.
The award recognizes a recent study by Lichtenberg in the journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology. The study shows that new cancer drugs from 1968 to 2004 increased the life expectancy of American cancer patients by almost one year. The cost of this additional year is less than $7,000 per patient — much lower than previous estimates of what Americans are willing to pay for an additional year of life.
“Greater life expectancy is the most important benefit that patients, and scientists, want to obtain from a new drug for cancer,” said Lichtenberg, who has served as a faculty member at the School since 1983. A research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Lichtenberg has received numerous research fellowships and grants, served as a consultant to a variety of private and public organizations, and testified before Congress.
“We are pleased to honor Professor Lichtenberg, an exemplary economist whose pioneering work is advancing the field of economics and the understanding of the impact of medical research on the economy,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America.
The award was presented to Lichtenberg at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The ceremony was followed by a panel discussion featuring Lichtenberg; John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society; and former Garfield recipient Sherry Glied, assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the US Department of Health and Human Services. New York Times columnist David Leonhardt moderated the discussion and Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) serves as the honorary congressional host.
The award is supported by a grant from Merck & Co. and by the Eugene Garfield Foundation. Research!America is the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. To learn more, visit www.researchamerica.org.