ICYMI: Insurer: “Can drugs as expensive as these really be cost-effective? The answer is yes.”

06.25.14 | By

The focus in recent weeks on the cost of a new cure for Hepatitis C has largely ignored the long-term value it provides to patients and the health care system broadly, including helping to prevent expensive hospitalizations and costly medical procedures, such as liver transplants.

Preserving the ‘New Normal’ for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

06.24.14 | By

Patients, especially those suffering from chronic conditions, deserve access to the medicines they need to live longer, healthier lives. The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges and the Essential Health Benefits they’re meant to provide were supposed to ensure patients have access to the treatments they need. But for many, high out-of-pocket costs create a sometimes insurmountable barrier to access.

Access to Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicines in Exchanges

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.

Access to Oncology Medicines in Exchanges

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.

Access to Multiple Sclerosis Medicines in Exchanges

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.

Access to HIV/AIDS Medicines in Exchanges

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. This fact sheet offers insight into access to these medicines in the new health insurance exchanges.

Access to Diabetes Medicines in Exchanges

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.

Access to Asthma Medicines in Exchanges

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. Goals of asthma treatment are reduced impairment from symptoms; minimized risk of asthma attacks and other adverse outcomes, such as hospitalizations and loss of lung function; and minimized side effects of asthma medicines.

Restricting Access to Medicines At the Expense of Patients Warrants a Candid Conversation

06.23.14 | By

It has become increasingly clear in recent weeks that far too many patients simply cannot access innovative medicines that help treat costly chronic diseases. While more Americans now have health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they still face insurmountable barriers to access that hinder our collective efforts to prevent, manage, and cure these conditions.

Investments in Innovation, Jobs, and Economic Development

06.20.14 | By

Innovation is the engine of economic growth and development.  Research and development (R&D) spending is what creates jobs and makes innovation a reality.  As the global economy continues to recover and regain its former strength, the pharmaceutical industry remains the world’s largest source of R&D spending.  According to a recent article in the

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