Director's message: Standing with patients

Volume 4, Issue 4, 2015


Mayo Clinic physicians are among those calling for affordable cancer drugs.

Robert B. Diasio, M.D.

Robert B. Diasio, M.D.

At Mayo Clinic, our primary value is "the needs of the patient come first."

Some may dismiss this as merely a nice sentiment, but we take these words very seriously and use them to guide our behavior and our decisions.

So, I was not surprised to see several colleagues in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center listed in the author stream of a commentary in the August 2015 issue of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings calling for action on the high cost of cancer drugs.

Signed by more than 100 of the nation's top oncologists, the commentary called for a number of reforms from lawmakers and drug manufacturers and urged patients to sign a petition demanding action on high prices.

The commentary was widely covered in the media and has helped fuel a national discussion on high-cost cancer drugs.

I applaud my colleagues and the editors at Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

In an era of shrinking government funds for research, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly underwriting research. Some investigators would shy away from criticizing drugmakers for fear of retribution, but my colleagues and their co-authors are standing firm and putting the needs of the patient first.

You can read more about the commentary in this issue of Forefront.

Happy holidays from all of us in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. May you enjoy a healthy 2016.

Robert B. Diasio, M.D.
Director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor