Progress to Improve Patient Lives - A Review

Christian Clymer
Christian Clymer April 3, 2015

Progress to Improve Patient Lives - A Review.

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Almost three years ago, PhRMA President and CEO John Castellani wrote a Catalyst post highlighting the evolution of the fight against cancer. He concluded that to advance progress, stakeholders from the health care ecosystem need to work together. Since this post, tremendous progress has been made throughout the industry, and his words still ring true. As a result, this week we highlighted some of this progress and the ways we can work together to continue to achieve results.


On Tuesday night the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) aired Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, a three-part documentary that explored cancer’s devastating impact, and the tremendous strides that have been made toward better understanding the disease and how to beat it. In 1971, President Nixon declared war on cancer; 40 years later, new treatments have helped generate 23 million additional life-years for patients. Currently there are more than 750 new medicines and vaccines in development to help us fight – and eventually win – this war for patients and everyone touched by this devastating disease. But to be successful, we’ll need your help.

Patient involvement in the research and development (R&D) process is critical to progress. From beginning to end, patient input helps researchers more thoroughly understand diseases and the ways in which new treatments can help individuals live healthier lives. For patients, participating in clinical trials or building a stronger relationship with one’s doctor often translates into better care, as we discussed in this week’s Conversations forum. Specifically, we addressed the positive impact a doctor/patient relationship can have on health, and how individuals can work toward establishing and maintaining that strong connection.

This week we also highlighted the ways in which the Medicare Part D program has made progress in the latest #MedicareMonday blog post. Not only does the program reduce hospitalizations for seniors, but it also aids in the reduction of overall Medicare spending. A recent study from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Illinois emphasized this point, noting that Part D coverage was linked to approximately $1.5 billion in aggregate savings to the Medicare program annually. This is in addition to the eight percent decrease in hospital admissions for seniors.

Stay tuned for more on the advancements that are happening in the biopharmaceutical industry to benefit patients. For updates, you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to share your thoughts to continue the evolution.

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Topics: Cancer, Patients, Medicare