The Catalyst

Medicare Monday: What they are saying about negotiation in Medicare Part D

Posted by Nicole Longo on February 8, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Last week, we highlighted how changing the structure of the Medicare Part D program would cause more harm than good by restricting beneficiary access to needed medicines.

Here’s a look at what is being said about harmful proposals to change the structure of the Part D program:

  • “[I]f you talk to experts who study the pharmaceutical market in the United States, they aren’t optimistic that, by itself, letting the government play drug negotiator would take a big bite out of prescription drug spending,” the New York Times – The Upshot reported last week.
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Topics: Part D, Medicare, Medicare Monday

Patients and researchers say “we’re fighting back” in new “From Hope to Cures” ads

Posted by Ieva M. Augstums on February 8, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a young age, five-year-old Rhys has not let his diagnosis be his destiny. He enjoys life to the fullest, from playing sports to having treats at a friend’s birthday party.

Fifteen years ago, Jamie was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer and thought she would not live to see her son grow up. Today, she’s happy, strong and planning a long-delayed trip to Paris with her husband.

Solving the world’s toughest health problems takes decades of research, but it also takes hope and courage from researchers. Jen, a biopharmaceutical scientist specializing in oncology, wakes up every day working to find new treatments and cures for patients.

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Topics: Value, diabetes, cancer, From Hope to Cures

Canada’s chance to reform its approach to innovation

Posted by Jay Taylor on February 5, 2016 at 5:26 PM

Intellectual property drives and sustains research, development and delivery of valuable new treatments and cures for patients who need them around the world. America’s world-leading research-based biopharmaceutical industry supports 3.4 million good-paying jobs in all 50 states. With this in mind, PhRMA takes the annual opportunity to submit our comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Special 301 Report– a regular review of trade barriers that exist with U.S. trading partners.

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Topics: Patents, IP, Canada

World Cancer Day: Reflecting on progress and hope for the future in cancer treatment

Posted by Nicole Longo on February 4, 2016 at 8:30 AM

More than 1.7 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year. Although that number is daunting, World Cancer Day reminds us that tremendous progress in the prevention and treatment of cancer has been made over the years, and researchers around the globe are working together to advance cancer care for patients.

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Topics: R&D, cancer, World Cancer Day

340B Spotlight: Hospitals report declines in uncompensated care even as more are qualifying for the 340B drug discount program

Posted by Karyn Schwartz on February 3, 2016 at 11:30 AM

We previously noted that it is counterintuitive that more hospitals would become eligible for the 340B discount program as the share of uninsured patients these hospitals serve declines due to the coverage expansions in the Affordable Care Act.

Now, new data reported by hospitals shows the recent declines in the uninsured are translating into less uncompensated care for hospitals. If the number of uninsured is declining and uncompensated care is declining, why is the 340B program continuing to grow? This raises important questions about whether the current hospital eligibility criteria for 340B are consistent with the program’s origins as a discount program to safety net facilities.

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Topics: 340B, 340B Spotlight

Medicare Monday: Why changing the structure of Part D could hurt beneficiary access

Posted by Nicole Longo on February 1, 2016 at 9:41 AM

This week on Medicare Monday, we’re looking at how proposals to change the structure of Medicare Part D could actually limit – and hurt – beneficiary access.

As we’ve covered before, price negotiation already occurs effectively within the Medicare prescription drug program. Large, powerful Part D purchasers negotiate discounts and rebates directly with manufacturers, and according to the Government Accountability Office, this private negotiation helps keep costs low for both beneficiaries and taxpayers. In fact, the Medicare Trustees have reported rebates are substantial and have increased each year of the program.

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Topics: Part D, Medicare, Medicare Monday

Week in Review: The latest from PhRMA

Posted by Priscilla VanderVeer on January 29, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Record number of new medicines in 2015: The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s (CDER) fifth annual Novel New Drugs Summary approved a record 45 new medicines in 2015, marking the highest number of approvals in almost two decades. More than a third of the medicines approved were first-in-class treatment options - offering a completely new way to treat disease – and nearly half were for the treatment of rare disease. Learn more about how these and other new medicines are giving patients even greater hope for the future.

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Topics: Week in Review

Medicare Monday: Drug coverage before and after Medicare Part D

Posted by Allyson Funk on January 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the success of the Medicare prescription drug program 10 years after its implementation, and over the coming weeks, we’ll continue to look at coverage before and after the program.

One example is how the implementation of Part D expanded coverage to millions of seniors who previously didn’t have access to comprehensive drug coverage.

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Topics: Part D, Medicare, Medicare Monday

2015: A banner year for personalized medicine

Posted by Emma Van Hook on January 22, 2016 at 10:17 AM

2015 was a record year for personalized medicine approvals, according to a new analysis  from the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC). This news confirms the growing role of personalized medicine as an approach to treatment that can improve outcomes for patients and also create important efficiencies in the health care system. Personalized medicine is an emerging field of medicine that uses diagnostic tools to identify specific biological markers to help assess which medical treatments and procedures will be best for each patient. Personalized medicine also takes into account patients’ medical history, circumstances and values in developing targeted treatment and prevention plans.

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Topics: FDA, Personalized Medicine

PhRMA and BIO Citizen Petition to FDA calls for biosimilar labeling guidance

Posted by Jeff Francer on January 21, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Biosimilars will continue to become more widely available to patients in 2016 and beyond.  PhRMA supports science-based regulation of biosimilars by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, critical guidance on how they should be labeled to ensure regulatory transparency and accurate prescribing has yet to be issued by the Agency. 

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Topics: FDA, biologics, biosimilars

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