More than 430 Medicines in Development to Treat Chronic Diseases Affecting Older Americans

Robert Zirkelbach   |     June 18, 2014   |   SHARE THIS

Aging is a fact of life but the good news is that life expectancy continues to climb and more and more Americans are living fuller, richer lives thanks in large part to innovative medicines being developed by biopharmaceutical companies.

As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, the demands on our health care system will continue to rise due to the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases affecting seniors. Finding new treatments for chronic diseases will further enhance patients’ quality of life and are necessary to help put our health care system on a more sustainable path.

Earlier this week, PhRMA released a new report detailing the medicines in development for older Americans, including treatments for arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are developing more than 430 medicines targeting 15 leading chronic conditions that impact seniors. The medicines are all either in the clinical trial phase or under review by the Food and Drug Administration and have the potential to improve health outcomes and pave the way for greater cost savings across the health care system.

With 10.9 million Americans age 65 and older affected by diabetes, 13 million adults affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 27 million experiencing osteoarthritis, these medicines in development are more important than ever to keeping aging Americans healthy, productive, and independent.

To gain a broader understanding of what needs to be done to prepare for the next generation to age with dignity; we posed the following question on PhRMA’s Conversations forum:

As Americans live longer, how can we tackle aging as a major risk factor for chronic disease?

We look forward to reading respondents’ views on this important topic. Please lend your voice to the discussion in the comments section or on Facebook or Twitter. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Robert Zirkelbach

Robert Zirkelbach Robert Zirkelbach is Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at PhRMA. He joined PhRMA in 2014 after working for seven years representing the health insurance industry. He likes Saturday afternoon BBQs on his deck, traveling, trying new restaurants, and attempting to play golf. He’s an avid, somewhat obsessive, Iowa Hawkeye fan and is lucky to have a wife that loves watching college football on Saturday afternoons.

Topics: Medicines in Development, Patients, Chronic Disease

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