Michael Milken - Philanthropist, Financier, Medical Research Innovator, Public Health Advocate

   Mikemilken.com  |  Philanthropic Career  |  Fortune Magazine

Following the publication of FORTUNE's cover story, Mike Milken appeared on CNBC's Power Lunch to discuss his medical research initiatives.
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  • Mike Milken was featured in a Fortune magazine cover article (November 29, 2004 issue) about his effort to find a cure for all types of cancers. Fortune concluded, "No one had ever pulled together the full picture of how - and how much - Milken has shaken up the medical establishment and saved lives ... Leaders everywhere are taking notice." Highlights of the article, which appears under the full-page headline The Man Who Changed Medicine, include:
    • "Milken has, in fact, turned the cancer establishment upside down. In the time it normally takes a big pharmaceutical company to bring a single new drug to market, Milken has managed to raise the profile of prostate cancer significantly, increase funding dramatically to fight the disease, spur innovative research, attract new people to the field, get myriad drugs into clinical trials, and, dare we say, speed up science. Milken's philanthropy, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, has raised $210 million* from its founding in 1993 through 2003, making it the world's largest private sponsor of prostate cancer research. That all-fronts effort, say numerous experts interviewed by Fortune, has been a significant factor in reducing deaths and suffering from the disease."
    • "The drop in the prostate cancer death rate is four times the decline in overall cancer rates during the past decade."
    • "Cancer researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates rarely speak with one voice on any subject related to the disease. They fight over funding priorities; they squabble over treatment options; they joust over the relevance of biological discoveries. But virtually everyone agrees that Milken deserves an enormous share of the credit for the progress made against this major killer. 'Mike's done more for prostate cancer research than anyone in America,' says one of the nation's best-known prostate surgeons, Patrick Walsh, head of urology at Johns Hopkins."
    • " 'Michael Milken changed the culture of [medical] research,' says Andrew von Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute. 'He created a sense of urgency that focused on results and shortened the timeline. It took a business mindset to shake things up. What he's done is now the model.' "
    • " 'Michael is always thinking creatively,' says [Dr. Leroy] Hood, sounding like a convert. 'He transformed how you do research in the field of prostate cancer and how you think about aggressively going after a disease. It has been a real revolution.' "
    • "[Milken] noticed that, astoundingly, no one had ever tried to harness the enormous political power of the millions of Americans with cancer and their families. So he began to pull every lever he could to generate a mammoth march on Washington. The 1998 march is credited with ushering in a period of expansive funding for cancer research. In the five years since, Congress has increased funding of the NCI by nearly 70%."

    Find the complete Fortune article at Fortune.com.

    * UPDATE: As of late 2015, the Prostate Cancer Foundation had raised more than $615 million for a broad range of research at more than 200 leading medical centers around the world.