The Catalyst

PhRMA Foundation: 2015 in review

Posted by Eileen Cannon on July 25, 2016 at 12:00 PM

For the past 50 years, the PhRMA Foundation has had the opportunity to support young scientists across numerous disciplines through grants and fellowships. In looking back through the years, and 2015 in particular, we asked past award recipients about the support they received. Here’s what some of them had to say:

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Topics: Science, PhRMA Foundation

Medicare Monday: Happy early birthday, Medicare!

Posted by Nicole Longo on July 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

As July comes to a close this week, there’s one big birthday left to celebrate – the anniversary of Medicare! On July 30, 1965, Medicare was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. This week, as we celebrate 51 years of Medicare, we wanted to highlight some of our Medicare resources.

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Topics: Part D, Medicare, Medicare Monday, Part B

Medicare Monday: Access to vaccines for older Americans

Posted by Allyson Funk on July 18, 2016 at 9:30 AM

When you think about vaccines, you may not think about the need for them later in life, but vaccines for older Americans are a critical component of maintaining health as you age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our immune systems weaken over time, which puts older Americans at higher risk for certain diseases. Important vaccines for older Americans include the flu, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumococcal, meningococcal, shingles and more.

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Topics: Vaccines, Part D, Medicare, Medicare Monday

4 ways to better engage and empower patients

Posted by Allyson Funk on July 15, 2016 at 10:00 AM

An informed consumer is an engaged and empowered patient. With the right information, consumers are well equipped to be active participants in making decisions about their health care. But it isn’t always that simple. Consumers often face barriers when it comes to finding information about their insurance benefits and out-of-pocket costs. By removing these barriers, we can engage and empower patients to make better-informed decisions about their health care. Here are four ways to do this:

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Topics: Access, Access Better Coverage, ABCs of Coverage, Policy Solutions, Empower Consumers

What you need to know about the federal government’s health spending projections

Posted by Holly Campbell on July 14, 2016 at 12:00 PM

New National Health Expenditure (NHE) projections released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reaffirm how our nation’s competitive marketplace for medicines controls costs while supporting the development of new treatments and cures for patients.

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Topics: drug cost, health care spending

Video: How can biomarkers and surrogate endpoints enhance R&D of medicines?

Posted by Andrew Powaleny on July 14, 2016 at 9:00 AM

In the age of personalized medicine, biomarkers are emerging as important tools in drug development. A biomarker is a measure or physical sign that can be used to determine how the body is functioning. This can help researchers develop more individualized treatments, provide an early warning sign for certain health risks and accelerate the availability of new medicines for patients.

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Topics: FDA, PDUFA, FDA Modernization, biomarkers, Policy Solutions

The importance of the Bayh-Dole Act

Posted by Setareh Samii on July 12, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Over 35 years ago, leaders in Washington D.C. united in what would today be a strikingly bipartisan manner to pass the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980 – better known as the Bayh-Dole Act. The legislation created a framework for technology transfer that helped rejuvenate the American economy and continues to be a model for the rest of the world. A new paper, “How the Bayh-Dole Act Propelled U.S. Global Leadership in the Life Sciences”, focuses on the contributions of the Act in fostering technology transfer.

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Topics: Innovation, R&D, IP

What they are saying about ICER’s scoping document for non-small cell lung cancer

Posted by Holly Campbell on July 11, 2016 at 12:00 PM

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has set its sights on a new target: life-saving treatments for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

ICER’s latest draft scoping document outlines what it will cover in its forthcoming report assessing treatments for advanced NSCLC. According to the scoping document, ICER’s evidence report will assess several categories of lung cancer treatments, including tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and immunotherapies. The value of these treatments in the fight against NSCLC, which accounts for 85 to 90 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses, has been widely recognized.   

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Topics: Value, Personalized Medicine, cancer, Value-Driven Health Care, Policy Solutions

Medicare Monday: How Part D Extra Help works for Katie

Posted by Nicole Longo on July 11, 2016 at 9:00 AM

In the past, we’ve taken a closer look at the Medicare Part D Extra Help program and how it supports patients like Diane and Mateo – two hypothetical, low-income Medicare patients over the age of 65. But how might the program support a patient who is only 31?

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Topics: Part D, Medicare, Medicare Monday

ICYMI: More attention to adequacy of health insurance coverage

Posted by Allyson Funk on July 8, 2016 at 10:30 AM

On, we’ve been highlighting the growing challenges of insurance benefit design and the impact of high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs on patients.

Last week in The Wall Street Journal, Drew Altman of the Kaiser Family Foundation laid out the next big debate in health care: adequacy of coverage. (We’ve been talking about this for a while.) An earlier Kaiser analysis found patient spending on deductibles and coinsurance is rising faster than insurers’ own costs. So even as more Americans than ever have health insurance, how is cost sharing impacting families? Altman asserts larger deductibles can be “a significant burden for many family budgets and a barrier to care for the chronically ill.”

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

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