For the biopharmaceutical industry, patient well-being is at the center of everything we do. In keeping patients at the forefront, we are doing all that we can to help people live longer, healthier lives. This week, we highlighted just a few ways we are working to translate that commitment into tangible outcomes.
Part of our commitment to patients is finding ways to help them better understand health insurance coverage. In addition to maintaining our educational Access Better Coverage website, this week we highlighted a new study from Harvard that found insurers may be discriminating against patients through the drug benefit design of Essential Health Benefit plans. The study found a trend that insurers are discouraging less healthy, higher-cost patients from choosing their health plans. With one in two American adults suffering from at least one chronic condition, these findings are especially troubling and important for people to be aware of.
Alzheimer’s disease is also a growing concern. Currently affecting more than 5.1 million Americans, this number will nearly triple to 13.5 million in 2050, according to a report from the Alzheimer’s Association. But innovative new treatments could change these projections. The same report notes that we could cut the number of projected Alzheimer’s patients in half with a treatment that delays the onset of the disease by five years. Researchers are committed to identifying better treatments for Alzheimer’s patients, and with more than 70 medicines in the pipeline, the future has incredibly potential. This commitment to innovation, however, means nothing unless strong policies continue to support the research and development (R&D) process.
Now, more than ever, strong intellectual property (IP) laws within future trade agreements are necessary to support R&D for our nation’s patients. Without them, biopharmaceutical companies would not have the resources or time to create groundbreaking new treatments. As trade takes center stage in 2015 and chief negotiators met this week in New York to discuss wrapping up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, it’s critical that any agreement include provisions that protect IP. PhRMA and our member companies are committed to working with policymakers to ensure a future of innovation.
We look forward to continued work with stakeholders from across the health care ecosystem to further strengthen our commitment to patients and ensure a healthy future for all. Check back in with the Catalyst each week to see how this commitment continues to evolve and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates.