Throughout 2014, I’ve seen firsthand the impact that the biopharmaceutical sector has on patients and the health care system every day. The innovative spirit, passion for helping patients, determination and acumen of the people who drive our industry – researchers, scientists and their peers across the U.S. and worldwide – have reinforced my longstanding view that the more we address disease head on, the greater our chances are to help millions of patients live longer, healthier lives.
By all accounts, 2014 presented a number of opportunities and challenges that highlighted just how important it is to keep the patient at the center of our ongoing efforts. It’s a notion that extends well beyond our industry, and should be a guiding principle as we head into 2015.
Over the past year, our member companies have introduced new medicines for some of the world’s most debilitating and costly diseases. They’ve provided hope to millions, saving and extending lives. However, with any great advancement in medicine today, we must remain focused on removing barriers to patient access wherever they exist. As patients are introduced to new coverage processes, they deserve simple, transparent and straightforward information on how to ensure they’re receiving the highest possible quality of care.
At the same time, 2014 reminded us that challenges lie ahead and we must work together to address them in the coming year. Case in point is the ongoing Ebola epidemic. Industry, government and private and non-profit sector leaders are collectively working toward innovative approaches that prevent and treat this deadly disease. It’s a rallying call for all of us and highlights the role that collaboration plays in helping patients in the worst of circumstances.
At PhRMA, we’re constantly assessing how we can provide resources to educate and empower patients, while also shining a spotlight on the best ideas and practices that keep us all looking forward.
A few highlights from 2014
- This year, we created two new resources that will continue to provide helpful information and milestone achievements into 2015 and beyond. Access Better Coverage helps visitors better understand the ABCs of health insurance coverage and access to needed medicines, while PhRMA’s Innovation Hub provides the latest on recent industry developments in innovation and how they directly improve patients’ lives. You can expect more informative and engaging articles and whiteboard videos next year.
- One of the most rewarding projects of the year was the “I’m Not Average” campaign, a series of moving videos highlighting the lives of Americans who are beating the odds thanks to unique, innovative treatments. In short, these are the individuals that get our innovators up in the morning and inspire them to tackle big challenges head on.
- Through our From Hope to Cures campaign, we established an ongoing dialogue with Washington, DC opinion elites regarding the extraordinary value the biopharmaceutical industry brings to patients, the economy and the health care system. We continue the conversation in 2015, and look forward to new partnerships and projects.
- We also celebrated our partners in academia, research and community activism who helped advance the fight against HIV/AIDS at our 3rd Annual Research and Hope Awards. We recognized their dedication and commitment to searching for a treatment and fighting for better access to care.
- Finally, our Conversations forum continued to address some of the most pressing topics in health care for a second year in a row. From Ebola and arthritis to Medicare and broader patient access, individual innovators, stakeholders, patients and others lent their voices to the issues at hand. We look forward to holding further conversations in 2015.
While 2014 was an incredibly successful year in which we accomplished a lot together, much more remains to be done. We couldn’t be more excited about what 2015 holds as we continue to work toward cures and better health care solutions. Thank you for your ongoing comments, ideas and feedback, and we look forward to continuing this dialogue this year.
Josephine Martin Josie Martin is Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at PhRMA. In a career spanning over 20 years, she worked on the Senate Finance Committee, The American Red Cross and has touched many facets of healthcare communications, from anti-smoking campaigns and getting America fit to cancer awareness.