The Catalyst

World Asthma Day: New Hope for Millions with Asthma

Posted by Christian Clymer on May 5, 2015 at 4:23 PM

While the 5th of May is most often thought of as Cinco de Mayo, the first Tuesday in May also marks another important day of awareness: World Asthma Day.

For more than 24 million Americans living with asthma, even routine, daily tasks can be daunting. Asthma, caused by inflammation in the air passages resulting from both genetic and environmental influences, narrows the airways to the lungs and makes breathing difficult. The experience can be painful and scary – and relief is not always quick.

So, who is at risk? 

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Topics: Medicines in Development, ACA, Asthma

ICYMI: The New York Times Highlights How Increasing Cost Sharing Hinders Access, Raises Other Health Care Costs

Posted by Allyson Funk on May 5, 2015 at 3:31 PM

Yesterday, on The Upshot, Incidental Economist creator Austin Frakt explored the impact of high cost-sharing on consumers and other health care costs. He reiterates concerns we’ve been highlighting on high out-of-pocket costs and restrictions on prescription drug coverage create barriers to access, undermine the fundamental purpose of insurance and increase other health care costs.

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Topics: coverage, CBO, out of pocket costs, NYT, Access Better Coverage, ABCs of Coverage

New Law Overrules State Supreme Court’s “Innovator Liability” Decision

Posted by Guest Contributor on May 4, 2015 at 5:51 PM

On Friday, May 1, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed into law legislation that overturns the Alabama Supreme Court’s adoption of a novel tort theory that severely threatened Alabama’s innovator and manufacturing sectors, as well as the State’s broader business climate. This important legislation restores longstanding Alabama law and prohibits damages against a brand-name manufacturer, in any industry, for physical injuries resulting from use of a generic product made and sold by a different company.

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Topics: Innovation, Wall Street Journal, Alabama

Celebrating Clinical Trials Awareness Week: May 4-8

Posted by Jocelyn Ulrich on May 4, 2015 at 4:12 PM

Chances are very good that you or a loved one recently reached into your cabinet to take a medicine to treat a condition, prevent a disease or alleviate a symptom. But when was the last time you thought about how that medicine was made? Did you know that developing a new medicine can take at least ten years on average? A critical piece of this process is testing the investigational drug in human volunteers.  A clinical trial is a study that is carefully designed to test the benefits and risks of a specific medical treatment or intervention, such as a new drug or a behavior change (e.g., diet). 

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Topics: R&D, Drug Development, PhRMA, Clinical Trials

Medicare Monday: Tampering with the Successful Structure of Part D

Posted by Allyson Funk on May 4, 2015 at 9:08 AM

First, in case you missed it, last week CMS released new Part D utilization and cost data for 2013. While we support efforts to increase transparency, this data release is very misleading and lacks appropriate context. Check out our 5 things to know here.

As you know, Medicare Part D is a successful government program coming in well under initial budget projections ($349 billion less than initial 10-year projections, to be exact) and helping to keep costs low for both taxpayers and beneficiaries. Competition and beneficiary choice – there are more than 1000 plans available nationwide in 2015 – lead to access and affordability for our nations seniors and people living with disabilities.

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Topics: CMS, Part D, Medicare, #MedicareMonday

Costs and Consequences of Not Treating Diabetes

Posted by Holly Campbell on May 1, 2015 at 12:48 PM


Costs and Consequences is a blog series examining the health care burden of not treating diseases. Too often, the rhetoric focuses solely on the cost of medicines and disregards the adverse societal and economic impacts of not treating diseases. Stay tuned for the next post in the series and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Diabetes is a leading cause of death in the United States and its prevalence is rising at an alarming rate. Every 30 seconds a new diabetes case is diagnosed, with almost 2 million Americans newly diagnosed each year. Currently, more than 29 million people – one in 10 American adults – have diabetes. If trends continue as many as one–in-three Americans could face the disease by 2050.

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Topics: diabetes, drug cost, Costs & Consequences

5 Things to Know About the CMS Part D Data Release

Posted by Allyson Funk on May 1, 2015 at 11:25 AM

1. Part D’s competitive, market-based structure is unique among government programs.

  • As required by law, Part D is different than other parts of Medicare and other government programs because it relies on competition among private plans that submit bids to offer prescription drug benefits to enrollees.
  • Competition and rebates have been significant in keeping Part D costs $349 billion lower than initial ten-year projections and keeping costs and premiums low for beneficiaries.
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Topics: CMS, Part D, CBO, Medicare

Witnessing a Historic Moment in U.S.-Japan Relations

Posted by Guest Contributor: Astellas on April 30, 2015 at 4:49 PM

Masao Yoshida is the President and CEO of Astellas US LLC.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed a Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at the U.S. Capitol.  It was a historic occasion, because he is the first Japanese prime minister to speak to a Joint Session.  I was honored to attend as the invited guest of Representative Robert Dold of Illinois’ 10th District.  Former Ambassadors to Japan Walter Mondale, Thomas Schieffer, and John Roos were in the audience, as was current Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, many visiting Japanese Diet members, business leaders, and stakeholders in the U.S.-Japan relationship.

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Topics: IP, Japan, TPP, Congress

ICYMI: A Broad Coalition of Stakeholders Continue to Raise Concerns about Patent Litigation Reform

Posted by Tina Stow on April 30, 2015 at 12:59 PM

As we’ve shared here, here and here on the Catalyst, Congress is currently considering new patent litigation reform legislation. The Innovation Act (H.R. 9) will soon be marked up in the U.S. House of Representatives and yesterday, separate legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate. While these efforts to address abusive patent litigation are well-intentioned – and the Senate legislation is an improvement over the House version – there continue to be issues of concern we look forward to working with Congress to address.

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Topics: Patents, IP, Innovation Act, HR9

World IP Day: The Foundation of Modern Life in America

Posted by Mark Grayson on April 30, 2015 at 12:52 PM

This week marks the celebration of  World Intellectual Property Day – an opportunity to reflect on and highlight the many ways that patents and trademarks serve as the very foundation of modern life in America as we know it. Our country was born from and has an astounding legacy of innovation. American ingenuity is responsible for the automobile, electric light bulb, telephone and so many other things that we now take for granted. So, why in America instead of someplace else? Because those who dared to innovate knew their ideas would be protected by a strong patent system that incents and rewards invention.

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Topics: Patents, IP, Intellectual Property

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