Medicines in Development for Older Americans

Medicines in Development for Older Americans

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).

What they're saying about the report

“Treatment advances have led to significant progress against many chronic diseases, but challenges remain. The 435 medicines in the pipeline today offer incredible hope for aging patients and the sustainability of our health care system.”

PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani

"While there is still much to learn about the aging process and effect on people's health, there are proven methods to help prevent harms, encourage wellness and mitigate the effects of chronic disease on people's ability to live independently. Our Aging Network, in fact, has helped in this pioneering work on the testing and delivery side. Area Agencies on Aging around the country offer medication management programs for seniors, lead evidence-based falls prevention programs to prevent costly injuries, create support groups for people managing multiple chronic conditions so that they can better self-advocate and maintain their health, and much more. It's never too late for prevention and it's clear that these interventions targeted to the most at-risk consumers drive up health outcomes and drive down long-term costs.” 

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging CEO Sandy Markwood

“The effects age-related chronic disease are immense both to the person experiencing them and society. Diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, frailty, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke contribute to a decrease in quality of life, a precipitous increase in health care expenses and growing burdens on caregivers. Faced with these challenges, we need to find interventions for these chronic diseases so people not only enjoy longer lifespans, but longer healthspans as well.”

Alliance for Aging Research Vice President of Public Policy Cynthia A. Bens

Read what others are saying about the Medicines in Development for Older Americans report and join the conversation here.

Read More

More On PhRMA — powered by PhRMApedia


Cost in Context