America’s biopharmaceutical research companies currently are developing 435 innovative new medicines to target 15 leading chronic conditions affecting the Medicare population. These medicines in development – all either in clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – include 110 for diabetes, 62 for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, 67 for Alzheimer’s disease, 61 for heart disease and 40 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
With the aging population and life expectancy climbing, higher rates of chronic diseases remain a major challenge for our health care system. Tremendous advances in medical science, combined with the benefits of lifestyle changes, have allowed more individuals to continue living their lives with one or more chronic illnesses. Today nearly 92 percent of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 77 percent have at least two, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA).