Mike Milken on the Imperatives of Medical Science
Because human capital represents more than three-quarters of the world’s real assets, it follows that investments in education and health by governments, industry and individuals will provide the greatest returns. Over the past two years, the world has seen net financial losses in the range of 10 to 20 trillion dollars. But if we could eliminate death and suffering from heart disease and cancer – not curing them, but simply turning them into chronic, rather than fatal, diseases – the increase in global human-capital value would be more than US$200 trillion. That’s the estimated value of the resulting longer lives and higher productivity. In other words, small increases in the value of human capital more than offset any losses in recent financial markets.
This is one example of why medical research is an integral component of the global economy. In fact, health advances account for as much as half of all economic gains. After thousands of years of nearly imperceptible growth, the world’s wealth began doubling every few decades beginning in the last century and a half. The largest stimulus for this growth was increased human productivity made possible by improved health and extended life spans – the result of improved sanitation, disease prevention and cures produced by research laboratories. The advance of such technologies as genomics and proteomics give us hope that we will continue to make progress against deadly diseases everywhere around the world. That is why FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, is working to remove barriers to progress in medical research worldwide.
More on Mike Milken's remarks at the Russia Forum.