PhRMApedia Resources

PhRMA Fact Sheets

Access to Asthma Medicines in Exchanges (2014)

Asthma is a common, chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma, including about 7 million children.

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Access to Diabetes Medicines in Exchanges (2014)

The annual number of patients who were newly diagnosed with diabetes has tripled in the past twenty years, and type 2 diabetes accounts for 95% of diagnosed diabetes in adults. As many previously uninsured people enroll in exchange coverage and access primary care, the diagnosed cases of diabetes may increase further. Medicines are a key component of managing diabetes. Most patients take oral medicines to stabilize blood sugar levels, but over time, many patients also add insulin to their treatment regimens.

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Access to HIV/AIDS Medicines in Exchanges (2014)

Prescription medicines are a crucial component of treatment for HIV/AIDS. Multidrug regimens have substantially reduced HIV progression to AIDS, opportunistic infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Even so, early ART regimens often required patients to ingest several large pills multiple times per day. New formulations, such as single-tablet regimens, reduced the pill burden dramatically, improving adherence and slowing disease progression.

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Access to Mental Health Medicines in Exchanges (2014)

For many patients with mental health conditions, prescription medicines are a key component of treatment. Antidepressants are highly effective for a range of mental health conditions, with several classes of medicines available. Clinicians generally base selections on highly individualized factors, including the patient’s specific depression symptoms; a prior response to specific antidepressants (if applicable); and side effects. Other common medicines for treating mental health conditions include antipsychotics and bipolar agents.

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Access to Multiple Sclerosis Medicines in Exchanges (2014)

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that is a leading cause of disability in young adults. MS disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate. MS can take several forms, with new symptoms either occurring in isolated attacks (relapsing forms) or building up over time (progressive forms). Between attacks, symptoms may go away completely; however, permanent neurological problems often occur, especially as the disease advances.

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Access to Oncology Medicines in Exchanges (2014)

Chemotherapy and other medicines are central to the treatment of nearly all forms of cancer. Chemotherapy has evolved tremendously as researchers have come to better understand the genetic underpinnings of cancer. New, targeted therapies attack aspects of cancer cells that distinguish them from normal, healthy cells and are often designed to treat a handful of specific cancer types. Targeted therapies cause less damage to non-cancer cells; thus these medicines often produce less severe side effects than other kinds of chemotherapy.

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Access to Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicines in Exchanges (2014)

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic joint inflammation and painful swelling that may result in long-term damage and disability. In addition to causing joint problems, RA sometimes can affect other organs of the body—such as the skin, eyes, lungs, and blood vessels. Immunosuppressant medicines are an essential component of RA treatment; these medicines help to reduce inflammation and prevent joint damage.

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Access to Combination Therapies in Exchanges (2014)
Combination therapies are medications that contain two or more pharmaceutical ingredients in a single dosage form (e.g., tablet, capsule) for the treatment of a condition. Oftentimes, patients living with chronic conditions—such as HIV and diabetes—rely on combination therapies because they reduce the number of medications or dosages a patient must take, which can increase adherence and clinical efficacy. Read More
Access to Mental Health Medicines in Exchange Plans (2015)

Clinicians base their prescribing decisions on individualized factors, including a patient’s specific symptoms; prior response to mental health medications; drug-drug interactions; and medication dosing patterns, absorption rates, clearance times, and side effects. Specific formulations of mental health medicines may be needed for some patients.

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Access to Oncology Medicines in Exchange Plans (2015)

Medicines are central to the treatment of most forms of cancer. Cancer treatment has evolved tremendously over the past decade. New targeted therapies attack cancer cells based on their molecular or genetic characteristics. Because targeted therapies specifically zero in on cancer cells, they cause less damage to non-cancer cells than older treatments, thus often producing fewer severe side effects and better outcomes than other kinds of treatments.

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