For the second year in a row, PhRMA is proud to participate in Aspen’s Spotlight Health Conference. As the opening session of Aspen Ideas Festival, Spotlight Health welcomes over 1,500 experts and thought leaders who are sharing their visions for the future of health care. In a new era of medicine, where medicines are transforming prevention and treatment options, we’re excited to join with these thought leaders on how to advance America’s health care system.
In a sponsored panel, PhRMA president and CEO Stephen J. Ubl will discuss how to make innovative therapies more accessible to patients on a panel titled “Breakthrough Medicine: How Can Patients Afford It?” The panel – hosted by Mary Woolley, president of Research!America – also includes Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Gary Reedy, CEO of the American Cancer Society, and Jeff Marrazzo, CEO and co-founder of Spark Therapeutics.
Five rising stars in medical research from PhRMA member companies will also discuss ways to advance the new era of medicine as Aspen Scholars. These innovations include:
- Value-driven health care: According to recent analysis, value-based contracts may help reduce copays for commercially insured patients by 28 percent. David S. Cobden, a health economist at AstraZeneca, works to improve value-based strategies that focus on outcomes that matter most to patients.
- Predictive analytics: Machine learning allows researchers to process massive amounts of data that are used to model outcomes of potential treatments. UCB’s Eddy Han-Burgess is among the many scientists who use these analytics to better treat patients with epilepsy and other neurological conditions.
- Rare disease research: Only five percent of rare diseases have a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment available. To help reduce this unmet need, scientists like Christina Kiley of Eli Lilly and Company spend their careers searching for treatments for rare and orphan diseases.
- Immunotherapies: While CAR-T and other clinically approved immuno-oncology (IO) therapies demonstrate dramatic efficacy in some patients’ tumors, biopharmaceutical researchers’ understanding of the science behind these therapies is just beginning. This science is what drives Rebecca Leary and her team at Novartis as they investigate the relationship between the immune system and cancerous tumors.
- Collaboration: Growing up in India, Merck’s Gokul Swaminathan saw the impact of infectious diseases like malaria and dengue fever first hand. Today, he collaborates with a variety of academic institutions, government bodies and venture capital companies to develop safer vaccines and therapies.
These are just a few examples of the ways biopharmaceutical companies take on today’s toughest health care issues. As we reflect on the progress we’ve made on these challenges, we’re excited to see where the conversation in Aspen takes us.
Katie Koziara is a director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on the organization’s executive visibility work and media relations strategy. She previously ran the social media strategy for a D.C.-based non-profit working on federal management and leadership issues. Katie earned her B.A. in Public Policy from the University of Michigan’s Ford School and is currently earning her M.A. in Fiction Writing from Johns Hopkins University.