Castellani Speaks on Meeting Healthcare Needs of Minority Communities

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's National Minority Quality Forum and Health

04.24.13 | By

John Castellani, PhRMA’s President and CEO, was honored to be one of the keynote speakers at last night’s Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s National Minority Quality Forum and Health Braintrust Awards Dinner. 

In his remarks, Castellani spoke about the long-term healthcare challenges all Americans face.  Citing diabetes, a condition with particular impact on many minority communities, Castellani also spoke of how medicines are increasingly change how we treat disease and how they improve patient outcomes and help control healthcare costs:

“…uncontrolled it (diabetes) can lead to dangerous complications including amputations, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

“The average cost of amputation surgery is $40,000.

“A single year of dialysis for kidney failure runs about $83,000.

“But, a year’s supply of medicines that can help control diabetes averages around $2,400.

“More than the cost, however, it is unquestionably better for patients to treat and control their diabetes, than to amputate or endure endless dialysis. “

He also spoke of how there is a real awaking taking place when it comes to the positive value of medicines – both to patients and the overall economy.  Specifically he noted that:

“The U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently updated its methodology for calculating the costs of Medicare policies.  It now reflects the positive effect of prescription medicines on total medical costs. CBO will for the first time account for the savings from medicines that reduce the need for other costly medical services, like hospitalizations, acute care and long-term care.”

Castellani concluded by urging all healthcare stakeholders to work closer together and cooperatively in promoting long-term policies that help solve patient problems and meet economic challenges, rather than expedient short-term solutions that only move the problem down the road.

More on CBO’s changing methodology here.

Castellani’s remarks in full here.

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