Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2009) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Ken Johnson issued the following statement on copayments for medicines:
“PhRMA believes it is vital to this country’s health that patients have affordable access to the medicines prescribed by their doctors. Medicines play a key role in treating chronic diseases, a key cost driver in our health care system. However, high cost sharing for medicines is one of the primary reasons patients don’t fill needed prescriptions or stop taking their medicines as prescribed, which can lead to poor health, avoidable hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and higher total health costs.
“America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies provide discounts on patients’ copayments for medicines so that patients are able to continue to take their needed prescriptions. The practice of offering discounts is critical to allowing patients to stay on their treatment regimens. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, consumer out-of-pocket payments account for, on average, about 50 percent of the cost of prescription medicines in the private health insurance market.
“The need for such discounts is demonstrated by recent research showing that increases in cost-sharing arrangements can drive unnecessary and expensive medical care, leading to higher health costs. For example, RAND Health finds that for certain chronic conditions, increased cost sharing is associated with greater use of expensive medical services, such as emergency room visits.
“America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies also offer financial help through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). The PPA is a nationwide effort designed to help uninsured and financially-struggling Americans get access to information about programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free. Since its launch in April 2005, the PPA has helped nearly 6 million patients nationwide."
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.
PhRMA Internet Address: http://www.phrma.org
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: http://www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: http://www.pparx.org
For more information on public health emergencies, visit http://www.rxresponse.org
For information on the danger of imported drugs, visit: http://www.buysafedrugs.info