Week in Review: Supporting the Fight Against Chronic Disease

Fighting Chronic Disease and Improving Adherence

07.12.13 | By

The increasing burden of chronic diseases, as well as potential solutions to the problem, were a major focus for us this week. Conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease affect Americans in “epidemic proportions,” as Matt Bennett noted when he introduced this week’s Conversations forum question about chronic disease. Americans are expected to spend $2.9 trillion on health care this year alone, with the bulk to treat long-term illnesses.

One key way to address this growing problem is by improving medication adherence. A study released by Health Affairs this week found that adherence to prescribed medications leads to better health outcomes. Not only did the study show that consistently high adherers had lower medical and hospital costs than non-adherent beneficiaries, the study also found non-adherence can lead to more hospital visits and higher spending on Medicare Part A and B.

PhRMA recognizes the importance of addressing chronic disease through prevention and treatment, and is actively involved in addressing the issue. We support the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), a coalition that advocates for policies and programs to prevent and manage these conditions, as well as the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices in its mission to lower Medicaid costs while providing effective patient care. Additionally, PhRMA sponsors the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, an organization that helps uninsured and low-income patients afford their medications.

The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) marked its first birthday this week. Stephanie Fischer shared recent developments on FDASIA and PDUFA, including the creation of an Industry PDUFA Tracking Database to facilitate the collection of real-time data from individual drug and biologic sponsors.

As PhRMA continues facilitate discussions and support initiatives that address critical health issues like chronic disease, we hope you will let us know what you think. Check out our ‘Conversations’ forum to read what health care experts have to say, and if there is a topic you’d like us to address, please let us know.

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