Press Release

PhRMA Statement on Disease Prevention

PhRMA April 30, 2013

Washington, D.C. (December 2, 2010) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Wes Metheny released the following statement on the Department of Health and Human Services’ new Healthy People 2020 program:

“The Healthy People 2020 program represents an important step forward in the march toward a healthier America.

“America’s biopharmaceutical research companies share Secretary Sebelius’s commitment to disease prevention and to promotion of better health.

“Innovative medicines don’t just help to treat diseases; they help to control them, preventing further progression of diseases and a corresponding worsening in symptoms.

“For example, treating Alzheimer’s disease can lower the percent of patients who require nursing home care from 50 percent to 11 percent after three years. Similarly, according to a recent study, proper use of recommended antihypertensive medications among currently treated patients help to avoid more than 830,000 hospitalizations annually. The same research suggested that if currently untreated patients received recommended medicines, an additional 420,000 hospitalizations would be avoided.

“Diabetes tells a similar story, with non-adherent diabetes patients 2.5 times more likely to be hospitalized as those who followed their prescribed treatment. Unfortunately, in America, a quarter of diabetes sufferers have not been diagnosed. Of the 18 million who have been diagnosed, 3 million are untreated – and only 6 million receive treatment that successfully controls their condition.

“The number of Americans who suffer from chronic conditions is staggering – as is the impact of chronic disease on our nation’s economy. Fortunately, prescription medicines help to keep many of those patients healthy and can help control rising healthcare costs. We hope that through Secretary Sebelius’s renewed commitment to fighting disease, we will see many more Americans control their diseases – and, eventually, through healthy lifestyles, prevent some of these diseases – by 2020.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.

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