The Catalyst

Patient Groups, Members of Congress and Other State-Based Stakeholders Agree: Stop the Abuse of Biopharmaceutical Patents

Posted by Tina Stow on July 28, 2015 at 9:47 AM

As Congress considers patent legislation known as H.R. 9, the Innovation Act, and S. 1137, the PATENT Act, health care leaders – from patient groups to Members of Congress to trade associations – continue reminding lawmakers about the critical importance of ensuring a fair and reliable patent system.
In their recent op-ed published in The Hill, John Castellani, president and chief executive officer, PhRMA, and James Greenwood, president and chief executive officer, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), outline a clear path forward for reform: recognize the unique role of patents in the biopharmaceutical industry by exempting certain biopharmaceutical patents from the inter partes review (IPR) process at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). As Castellani and Greenwood write, “patents are the lifeblood of any new medicine. And our industry’s reliance on them is unique; while your cellphone might be protected by hundreds of patents, the new medicine you or your loved ones take is usually only protected by just a handful.”

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Topics: Patents

#MedicareMonday: More Medicines in Development for Older Americans

Posted by Allyson Funk on July 27, 2015 at 9:00 AM

This Thursday, Medicare celebrates its 50th anniversary! One critical part of Medicare for older Americans and people living with disabilities is the Part D prescription drug benefit that began in 2006. In celebration of Medicare’s birthday, we’re taking a look at medicines in development for older Americans.

More than 9 in 10 older Americans have at least one chronic condition and more than 7 in 10 have at least two. The biopharmaceutical industry is committed to developing medicines that help patients live longer, healthier lives and that includes treatments to manage chronic conditions and some of the most debilitating diseases facing Americans as they age.

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Topics: Medicines in Development, Part D, Medicare, #MedicareMonday, seniors

Biopharmaceutical Industry Strongly Committed to Responsible Clinical Trial Data Sharing to Improve Public Health

Posted by Jeff Francer on July 23, 2015 at 4:31 PM

The biopharmaceutical industry remains committed to enhancing public health through responsible data sharing that recognizes the importance of protecting patient privacy, respects the integrity of national regulatory systems, and maintains incentives for continued investment in biopharmaceutical research.

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Topics: FDA, Pfizer, Clinical Trials, GSK, EFPIA, Johnson & Johnson, data sharing

Focusing on Only 1% of Spending Will Not Solve Nation’s Health Care Challenges

Posted by Robert Zirkelbach on July 23, 2015 at 11:20 AM

Commentary published today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings highlights a critical challenge facing cancer patients: the ability to access the medicines they need. But rather than address this issue directly, the authors outlined a series of proposals that focus solely on the 1 percent of health care spending that goes toward life-saving cancer medicines. And the article ignores the fact that cancer medicines represent only one-fifth of total spending on cancer treatment.  The policy proposals they recommend would, if adopted, send a chilling signal to the marketplace that risk-taking will no longer be rewarded, stopping innovation in its tracks and halting decades of progress in cancer care.

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Topics: cancer, drug cost, Medicare, out of pocket costs, cost

I’m Not Average: Doreen’s Struggle with Cholesterol (Video)

Posted by Holly Campbell on July 22, 2015 at 11:23 AM

After a heart attack at only 39 and subsequent diagnosis of high cholesterol, Doreen was in shock. “That was the beginning of a great challenge for me,” says Doreen.

She knew she had to stay alive for her children and grandchildren, so she immediately adopted a healthy lifestyle. She tweaked her diet, began an exercise routine and started a statin therapy, the most commonly prescribed class of cholesterol-lowering medicines. But her cholesterol levels didn’t change.

Frustrated, Doreen continued this treatment regimen until she developed heart muscle spasms and her doctor advised that she stop taking the cholesterol-lowering medication. Doreen learned that she is part of a small patient population intolerant to statins because of side effects or adverse events.

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Topics: Value, heart health, I'm Not Average, Cholesterol, high cholesterol

No Two Patients with High Cholesterol are the Same: Meet Sheryl and Bill

Posted by Holly Campbell on July 21, 2015 at 3:47 PM

Even though Sheryl and Bill both have high cholesterol they have two very different stories. Sheryl is able to control her cholesterol level through statin therapy combined with lifestyle changes like a better diet and increased exercise. On the other hand, Bill struggles to control his cholesterol with statins and other cholesterol-lowering medicines. Sheryl’s story reflects the opportunity presented by existing treatment options to achieve better control of high cholesterol; while Bill’s story reflects the significant unmet medical need that remains.

The difference between these stories highlights why every patient is different and only some will benefit from a new class of cholesterol-lowering medicines, PCSK9 inhibitors. These new medicines will not replace existing treatment options that work for millions of Americans and will address a significant unmet medical need in a small subset of people.

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Topics: Value, drug cost, Cholesterol, high cholesterol

How many Americans could potentially be treated with new PCSK9 inhibitors? (Hint: It won’t be as many as critics claim)

Posted by Holly Campbell on July 20, 2015 at 3:17 PM

Despite claims that tens of millions of Americans could be eligible for treatment with a new class of cholesterol-lowering medications, called PCSK9 inhibitors, the fact is these new medicines will not replace existing treatment options and will address a significant unmet medical need in a small subset of people. PCSK9 inhibitors will help those who cannot be treated with existing cholesterol-lowering medicines and are just one of many opportunities for those with uncontrolled cholesterol.

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Topics: Value, drug cost, Cholesterol, high cholesterol

Medicare Monday: New Research Finds Beneficiaries Live Longer After Implementation of Medicare Part D

Posted by Allyson Funk on July 20, 2015 at 9:33 AM

New research published last week in the American Journal of Managed Care found reductions in mortality among Medicare beneficiaries following the implementation of Medicare Part D. We’ve talked before about how improved access to prescription medicines as a result of the Part D program has helped save lives

Most notably, since the implementation of Medicare Part D in 2006, nearly 200,000 beneficiaries have lived at least 1 year longer, with an average increase in longevity of 3.3 years. That’s more birthdays, more books read, more grandkids visited and more important milestones shared as a result of better access to medicines.

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Topics: Part D, Medicare, #MedicareMonday, seniors

Week in Review: The Latest from PhRMA

Posted by Priscilla VanderVeer on July 17, 2015 at 2:28 PM

Neurological Disorders: America’s biopharmaceutical companies are committed to developing innovative new treatments for the nearly 50 million Americans affected by neurological disorders. This week, PhRMA highlighted that commitment with a series of events and reports, including:

  • The Medicines in Development for Neurological Disorders report from PhRMA and the Epilepsy Foundation, which found that there are currently 420 medicines in the pipeline to combat disorders of the brain, spinal cord and nerves.
  • The Researching Alzheimer’s Disease: Setbacks and Stepping Stones report that highlights the disappointments, but also the encouraging progress on, the path toward new treatments for this devastating disease.
  • Dr. Bill Chin of PhRMA moderated a panel of health care experts for a live webcast discussion about the current state of research to treat and care for Alzheimer’s disease and viewers contributed questions using hashtag #Alz15.
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Topics: Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's Association

New Chart Pack: Biopharmaceuticals in Government Programs

Posted by Allyson Funk on July 16, 2015 at 12:43 PM

Today, PhRMA released a new resource on biopharmaceuticals in government programs. This new chart pack features key facts about prescription medicines in four major government programs – Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs and the 340B drug discount program.

Check out the chart pack here:

Below is a preview of the new resource.

Federal Spending on Health Care
Over the Next Decade:

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Topics: Access, biopharmaceutical, 340B, Medicare, Medicaid

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