Dean Glimcher Discusses Biomedical Research, Health Care Reform on CNBC
Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher appeared live on CNBC Wednesday morning to weigh in on health care reform and the importance of biomedical research in enhancing human health.
During her segment on Squawk Box on CNBC, which was guest-hosted by Chairman of the Weill Cornell Medical College Board of Overseers Sanford I. Weill, Dr. Glimcher expressed support for the Affordable Care Act and its effort to provide accessible care to all patients while reining in health care costs. But she said she was disappointed that increased funding for biomedical research was not embedded in the law.
"The only way we are going to control health care costs is through discovery," said Dr. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. "We need to discover how to treat diseases."
Invoking Alzheimer's disease as an example, Dr. Glimcher said that by the time her grandson is 40-years-old, there will be 32 million people in the United States over the age of 80, of which one of two will have Alzheimer's disease.
"That's bigger than the populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago put together," she said. "That's going to cost us over a trillion dollars in health care costs." But the federal research budget for Alzheimer's disease research doesn't reflect the scale of the problem. The United States spent $350 billion treating neurological diseases, Dr. Glimcher said, which is more than the National Institutes of Health has spent in more than 50 years for research.
"We depend on funding from the federal government to support our biomedical research enterprise," she said. "I would say to people who think we spend a lot of money on research that if you think research is expensive, try disease — that's what Mary Lasker said."
Despite the federal research belt tightening, Weill Cornell is currently amid expansion of its biomedical enterprise and is celebrating research successes. Dr. Glimcher spoke about the Belfer Research Building, which will double Weill Cornell's research space in just a matter of years, and shared the promise of Dr. Norman Relkin's latest research on intravenous immunoglobulin therapy for Alzheimer's patients.
Sanford Weill was the guest host during the show's two-hour broadcast Wednesday. Click here to view video clips of the broadcast.