Week in Review: It’s All About Patients

Week in Review: It’s All About Patients

07.11.14 | By

For biopharmaceutical companies, patients are our priority. Throughout the research and development process, it is our job to make sure that innovative, new treatments are moving through the pipeline, into the hands of those in need. To achieve this, a number of different issues must be addressed across the U.S. and around the world. This week, the Catalyst touched on a variety of topics that aren’t typically top-of-mind, but represent just a small sample of issues that are important to helping patients live longer, healthier lives.

Strong intellectual property (IP) enforcement helps ensure patients get the potentially life-changing treatments they need. Failing to protect innovative new medicines means competitors can copy the product that that took years of hard work and millions of dollars to develop. Trade agreements are essential to protecting new medicines. This week Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations between the U.S. and 11 other countries continued in Ottawa, Canada where negotiators worked in hopes of completing the trade agreement by the end of this year. While many issues have been addressed as part of these free-trade discussions, one of the few remaining hurdles is intellectual property rights. In order for patients to continue to have a robust pipeline, protecting IP is critical.

Once treatments are developed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, patients must have access to them, and ensuring patients get the medicines they need is incredibly important to the biopharmaceutical industry. In our Burden on Patients series this week, we discussed the difficulties diabetes and asthma patients in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance exchange plans have accessing needed medicines. For example, diabetes patients in the exchange plans face an average out-of-pocket cost of $4,000 for insulin annually and a single asthma treatment can be as much as $1,380, which is often paid in-full by the individual due to a high combined deductible for medicine and other services. These high out-of-pocket costs often mean patients are forced to go without their treatments because they cannot afford them, which can lead to non-adherence and increased health disparities.

We always want to hear from you on these and other issues that interest you, so follow us on The Catalyst, Twitter and Facebook and share your thoughts.


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