Press Release

IMS Report Finds Medicines Helping Curb Health Care Cost

PhRMA April 15, 2014

Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2014) – The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Executive Vice President Josephine Martin released the following statement today:

“Growth in medicine spending remains at historically low levels and continues to contribute to the bending of the healthcare cost curve, according to a new IMS Health report on prescription drug spending.  The report also highlights that clusters of innovation are transforming patient care in hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis and diabetes, as well as other debilitating diseases, bringing improved patient outcomes as well as a shift in where costs are being incurred in the healthcare system – yielding the promise of fewer doctor office visits, less hospitalizations and reduced use of long-term care facilities. 

“The ongoing debate around the cost of medicines has in many ways distorted the value of innovative medicines and the role they play in improving the quality of care for patients and helping to reduce costs in other parts of the U.S. health care system. 

“Just last year, we saw the largest number of orphan drugs launched in ten years for diseases such as cystic fibrosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic myeloid leukemia.  What’s more, there were ten new cancer treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration – the most in over a decade.  These life-changing medicines offer hope to millions of patients who in the past might not have had treatment options to help them fight their disease. 

“It is not surprising that as more patients in the U.S. returned to the healthcare system over the last year, medicine use saw a modest increase.  But media reports often fail to acknowledge that there are inequities in insurance coverage for different types of health care services, and that chronically ill patients are often expected to pay more in out-of-pocket expenses for their medicines than for other types of health care, such as hospitalizations. Unlike medicines, health plans do not single out the sickest patients by requiring higher rates of cost-sharing for costly hospital stays or other health care services, even though the financial risk associated with medical spending is generally considerably higher than it is for medicines. As one response to this disproportionate cost-sharing, biopharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs and support the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), which has helped nearly 8 million people to date.”

About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $550 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $51.1 billion in 2013 alone.

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