When President Obama held his end-of-year press conference last month, he struck a clear and upbeat tone: “A new future is ready to be written. We've set the stage for this American moment. And I'm going to spend every minute of my last two years making sure that we seize it.”
Politics aside, we approach the upcoming State of the Union message with a sense of common purpose around improving the lives of millions of Americans and their families. Our industry, in particular, is at the forefront of new discoveries that will fundamentally change how we treat diseases ranging from cancer and diabetes to HIV/AIDS and Parkinson’s. As a result of the dedicated individuals and teams who work day and night to help make new treatments a reality, we understand these and other diseases better than we ever have before. With about 3,000 potential medicines in development in the United States, the future is a bright one.
Without question, the decisions that are made every day by policymakers at the federal and state levels stand to impact the patients who inspire us well into the future. The national health care dialogue of recent years has brought into focus a number of issues that determine how quickly we’ll be able to deliver the hope that so many patients depend upon. Removing regulatory and other barriers that inhibit patients’ access to medication, ensuring a strong environment for intellectual property, and caring for the 10,000 Baby Boomers who become Medicare eligible every day are just a few of the many considerations for policymakers as we collectively work to drive new advancements. Everyone in health care today has a critical role to play in this regard, and collaboration must be viewed as an opportunity to ensure that we deliver on our promise in 2015 and beyond.
At PhRMA, we believe we have a responsibility to constantly share new ideas, perspectives and information that help empower patients and policymakers alike. One example of this is our Access Better Coverage campaign that helps patients and caregivers make sound decisions about health care through tools and education. Videos, research and the latest news are all available on the website to help people identify their best option.
Hosting a continuous dialogue is also a pre-requisite for shared progress. Our Conversations forum will continue serve as a hub to discuss relevant topics, and we encourage you to share your thoughts. Building on our progress from the past year, 2015 is poised to continue to bring new treatments to patients and we’re eager to cover a number of related conversation topics.
We couldn’t be more excited about the potential of the year ahead. We look forward to hearing about potential opportunities for collaboration to improve Americans’ long-term health and well being.
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.