The Catalyst

ICYMI - The Economists’ Voice: Are biopharmaceutical budget caps good public policy?

Posted by Holly Campbell on May 6, 2016 at 11:00 AM

In case you missed it, a recent article in The Economists’ Voice examines how assessing the value of medicines using budget caps would impede patient access and chill biopharmaceutical innovation. In the piece, economists at the University of Southern California and Precision Health Economics argue that arbitrary budget caps violate five important principles of health policy and make decisions based on short-term value, which can be detrimental to patient health.  

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Topics: Value

A state-by-state look at coverage and access hurdles in 2016 exchange plans

Posted by Rebecca Davison on May 6, 2016 at 9:00 AM

We frequently talk about access barriers patients with health insurance exchange plans face, including two recent studies from Avalere Health and Harvard University Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation on plans requiring high cost sharing for all medicines used for certain conditions. But did you know access to health care treatments and services also varies by state, with patients in some states facing more access barriers than others?

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Topics: Access, health insurance, Access Better Coverage, ABCs of Coverage

Strong IP is propelling innovation and saving lives

Posted by Mark Grayson on May 5, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Each day, new medicines are being researched and developed that save lives and improve patients’ quality of life. As the global epicenter of life science innovation and technological breakthroughs, America’s biopharmaceutical researchers are leading the charge by breaking down old barriers and creating new, groundbreaking approaches to fighting diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

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Topics: Innovation, Patents, IP

Clinical Trials Q&A: A patient’s perspective

Posted by Jocelyn Ulrich on May 4, 2016 at 9:03 AM

Conversations and healthy debate about issues facing our industry and the health care system are critical to addressing some of today’s challenges and opportunities. The Catalyst welcomes guest discussions, including patients, stakeholders, innovators and others, to share their perspectives and point of view. Views represented here may not be those of PhRMA, though they are no less key to a healthy dialogue on issues in health care today. As we celebrate Clinical Trials Awareness Week, we spoke with Nina Martinez, who has participated in a clinical trial.

Nina Martinez was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, after receiving tainted blood through a transfusion as a baby. More than two decades later, she’s a healthy, happy adult. She credits the development of HIV medications to treat children in the late 1980s and early 1990s with her survival. In college, she began volunteering for clinical research to give back to the science that helped save her life and has become a fervent advocate for clinical trial participation. Nina and other health care leaders will participate in a Twitter chat tomorrow from noon-1 p.m. ET on the importance of clinical trials. Use #CTAW2016 to engage.

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Topics: Clinical Trials, HIV/AIDS

Challenges and opportunities in an era of personalized medicine

Posted by Stephen J. Ubl on May 2, 2016 at 1:00 PM

We are at a pivotal time in health care in America. Biomedical discovery and innovation have the potential to revolutionize the way we diagnose and treat patients. At the same time, rapidly changing regulatory and market dynamics are shifting the ways we develop and pay for new technologies. Personalized medicine stands right at the center of this revolution, with the science enabling greater precision that not only can improve the lives of patients, but can also create efficiencies within the health care system by delivering the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.

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Topics: Innovation, Personalized Medicine

What they are saying: Immunotherapy is transforming cancer care

Posted by Andrew Powaleny on May 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM

New and innovative immunotherapy medicines developed by America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are transforming how we fight cancer and are providing newfound hope to patients.

Rather than killing cancer cells directly with traditional tools like radiation or chemotherapy, immunotherapy seeks to harness the immune system’s power to eliminate the cancer or slow its growth and ability to spread. Research shows immunotherapy is improving outcomes and survival rates for some patients, including kidney and lung cancer.

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Topics: cancer, ASCO

Medicare Monday: Part B proposal lacks essential patient protections

Posted by Kelsey Lang on May 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

We’ve highlighted how the proposed Part B model lacks safeguards to protect patients from barriers and reduced quality of care.

Some stakeholders have suggested that the Part B proposal looks a lot like an “experiment on Medicare patients.”  Here’s a look at how the proposal stacks up against a clinical trial.

Researchers sponsoring clinical trials (including biopharmaceutical companies) follow strict guidelines for review and approval to make sure patients are informed, risk is minimized and ongoing monitoring and evaluation are included.

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Topics: Medicare, Medicare Monday, Part B

Week in Review: The latest from PhRMA

Posted by Priscilla VanderVeer on April 29, 2016 at 3:34 PM

Fact Check Friday – When it comes to communications between with payers, biopharmaceutical companies are often constrained in sharing safety and efficacy information about medicines in development.  Read more about our recommended policy solutions regarding responsible communications with payers.

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Topics: Week in Review

Getting TTIP right, not rushed

Posted by Jonathan Kimball on April 29, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Catalyst_Promo4.pngI had an opportunity to participate in the Stakeholders’ Event at the13th round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations that took place in New York City earlier this week. The negotiations had a more urgent tone, as President Obama and European leaders strive to finalize the agreement this year. With only months remaining in his presidency, President Obama is focused on solidifying his legacy with the ratification of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and reaching an agreement with the EU on TTIP. Completing TTIP is important, but it is vital that any agreement reached provides the U.S. the strongest outcomes possible, to spur innovation and ensure the future health of the biopharmaceutical industry.

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Topics: IP, trade

Fact Check Friday: Biopharmaceutical company communications with payers

Posted by Andrew Powaleny on April 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Today, we’re examining how and what biopharmaceutical companies communicate with payers about a medicine prior to its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

MYTH: Biopharmaceutical companies can freely communicate with payers about a medicine ahead of the medicine’s approval by the FDA or about unapproved indications for approved medicines.

FACT: Outdated FDA regulations may inhibit biopharmaceutical companies from communicating scientifically sound, truthful and non-misleading information about medicines with payers prior to FDA approval.

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Topics: FDA, Myths vs Facts, healthcare professionals, Fact Check

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