The Catalyst

Week in Review: The latest from PhRMA

Posted by Priscilla VanderVeer on May 6, 2016 at 4:30 PM

week-in-review.jpgStopping opioid abuse – PhRMA and its members stand with patients, providers, law enforcement, policymakers and others in calling for and supporting national policies and action to address opioid abuse. Check out the new policy principles and stay tuned for more about what the biopharmaceutical industry is doing to combat abuse.  

The problem with biopharmaceutical budget caps – A new article in The Economists’ Voice demonstrates how assessing the value of medicines using budget caps can impede patient access and chill biopharmaceutical innovation. Read more about these findings, which highlight why the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s (ICER) so-called “value framework” would create a strong bias against medical innovations.

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Topics: Week in Review

Stopping opioid abuse

Posted by Anne McDonald Pritchett, PhD on May 6, 2016 at 2:31 PM

Catalyst_Promo4.pngAccording to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 14,000 people died from overdoses involving opioids in 2014—a four-fold increase since 2009. The agency has declared prescription abuse an “epidemic.”

The toll of prescription drug abuse is felt by many. It is felt by the family members, friends, police officers and paramedics that are faced with preventing overdoses and assisting potential overdose victims. It is felt by emergency room staff, doctors and pharmacists across the country who are on the frontlines as they seek to identify and prevent “doctor” shopping and try to find treatment options for patients in need. And it is felt by families, friends and communities that are dealing with a seemingly endless cycle of expensive, exhausting and heartbreaking challenges that go hand-in-hand with drug abuse. 

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Topics: Safety, Patients

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

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