The Catalyst

Three Things You Need to Know about Today's WSJ Story on Medicine Prices

Posted by Holly Campbell on April 27, 2015 at 4:01 PM

In case you missed it, a Wall Street Journal article this morning explored pricing trends in the biopharmaceutical industry. In the piece, the authors correctly stated that spending on retail prescription medicines accounts for just 10 percent of U.S. health care spending and noted the “impact on total health care spending has been limited” because once patents end, brand medicines then face competition from lower-cost generics. But the following three points are also important to consider when discussing spending on prescription medicines.

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Topics: drug cost

Patients: They're at the Table – It’s About Time to Ask Them What Should be Served

Posted by Guest Contributor on April 27, 2015 at 1:24 PM

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 contributors including patients, stakeholders, innovators and others to share their perspectives and point of view. Like in our Conversations series, 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. 

In celebration of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we’re pleased to host a guest blog from Veronica (Ronnie) Todaro, M.P.H. and vice president, national programs at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

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Topics: Patients, Parkinson's, patient advocacy

Medicare Monday: What You Need To Know About Part D Appeals

Posted by Allyson Funk on April 27, 2015 at 9:07 AM

Did you know there is a process in Medicare Part D to appeal a coverage decision made by your plan about a medicine you need? Meaning, if a beneficiary is told at the pharmacy counter that his or her medicine isn’t covered or if they disagree with the cost-sharing amount, that isn’t the end of the line.

Every Part D beneficiary is entitled to request a written explanation from their plan about whether a certain medicine is covered, what the requirements are to receive a treatment and how much it will cost. This is called a coverage determination. If you or your doctor disagree with a coverage determination made by your plan, you have the right to appeal this decision.

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Topics: Part D, Medicare, #MedicareMonday

Why Cross-Country Comparisons on Drug Prices are Misleading

Posted by Robert Zirkelbach on April 24, 2015 at 12:27 PM

Too often, critics greatly exaggerate price differences between the U.S. and other countries to create an erroneous impression that medicines are a major driver of U.S. health care cost growth – ignoring that medicines account for a small share of health spending differences between the U.S. and other countries. They also fail to acknowledge the ramifications of centralized price control policies other countries use to achieve whatever price differences do exist.

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Topics: Value, cancer, drug cost

Patient Profile: Out-of-Pocket Cost Burden for Patients Treating Mental Health Conditions

Posted by Allyson Funk on April 24, 2015 at 10:03 AM

We’ve been exploring profiles of patients managing different chronic conditions like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis and the burdensome out-of-pocket costs they face. Unfortunately, for many like Eric and Rebecca, health insurance exchange plans may be putting patient access to needed medicines at risk.

Meet Chloe. Chloe is a 35-year-old retail clerk, living in California. Chloe earns $1,653.25 a month – meaning she qualifies for additional cost-sharing subsidies when purchasing a silver plan through the health insurance exchange. And like many of the nearly 44 million Americans managing a mental health condition, she uses medication to treat her bipolar affected disorder.

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Topics: Access, Patients, Patient Story, Access Better Coverage, ABCs of Coverage

What They Are Saying: Stakeholders Raise Concerns about Patent Litigation Reform

Posted by Robert Zirkelbach on April 24, 2015 at 9:49 AM

Patents are critical to the innovation ecosystem, and the lifeblood of the biopharmaceutical industry. Protecting and enforcing them is essential to keeping the engine of scientific discovery running for patients.

Over the past few months, a wide range of stakeholders – including universities, employers, and the biopharmaceutical industry – have raised concerns that  the Innovation Act, legislation designed to address abusive patient litigation, could have unintended consequences for patients. If intellectual property is not adequately protected, innovative research becomes more difficult which in turn impacts biopharmaceutical companies’ ability to develop new medicines for patients.

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Topics: Innovation, Patents, The Hill, Roll Call, Wall Street Journal

Ask About Adherence – PhRMA Foundation Young Investigator Adherence Grant Program

Posted by Samantha Dougherty on April 23, 2015 at 1:42 PM

Ask About Adherence is a blog series featuring Q&A’s with experts on medication adherence. But, this week we are straying from our regular format to announce that the PhRMA Foundation has awarded four research grants as part of its Young Investigator Adherence Grant Program.

Established in 2012, the Young Investigator Adherence Grant Program was created by the PhRMA Foundation to support research conducted by predoctoral candidates, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty to advance knowledge of innovative and effective approaches to improve medication adherence.

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Topics: PhRMA Foundation, #Adherence123s

ICYMI – Cancer Leaders Lay Out Policy Road Map for Continued Progress

Posted by Holly Campbell on April 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM

In case you missed it, a special report, “Accelerating the Delivery of Patient-Centered, High-Quality Cancer Care,” published online yesterday in the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) journal Clinical Cancer Research. Authored by Turning the Tide Against Cancer co-conveners, the report proposes four key policy recommendations to further the national dialogue on accelerating the delivery of patient-centered, high-quality cancer research and care.

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Topics: Value, Innovation, cancer

Earth Day 2015: Green Initiatives are Good for Business and the Environment

Posted by Anne Pritchett on April 22, 2015 at 11:29 PM

Earth Day provides us all with an opportunity to consider the role each of us can play in protecting the Earth’s natural resources. The nation’s innovative biopharmaceutical companies spend substantial time and resources on identifying ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of not just their R&D processes but also their manufacturing processes with an increased focus on green chemistry. Forthcoming reports from Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development and Deloitte describe green manufacturing practices among biopharmaceutical companies large and small. The biopharmaceutical industry has long been committed to environmentally responsibility and many publish corporate responsibility reports that provide information not just on their impact on the environment but also the steps they are taking to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact.

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What You Need to Know about the New Kaiser Poll

Posted by Robert Zirkelbach on April 22, 2015 at 2:25 PM

Spending on retail prescription medicines has consistently accounted for just 10 percent of health care spending, even though biopharmaceutical companies have brought more than 500 medicines to U.S. patients in the past 15 years. That's because the marketplace for prescription medicines is unlike any other part of the U.S. health care system. High utilization rates of generics, competition among brand-name medicines and aggressive tactics by insurers to negotiate prices all help to keep costs under control.

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Topics: health insurance, exchanges, health care spending, Access Better Coverage

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