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October 24, 2016
We live in a Golden Age of health innovation. New pharmaceuticals are prolonging and saving lives. For example, two-thirds of patients diagnosed with cancer are alive at least five years after their diagnosis. [PhRMA] And the cost of drugs is often much lower than the cost of other treatments that would be needed if the drugs did not exist. In terms of overall healthcare spending, pharmaceuticals accounted for just 12% of total spending as of 2014 – this is the SAME as it was in 1960
But today we hear more about what medicines cost than the lives they improve. It’s not an “either-or” conversation. If we want to continue to develop new medicines for conditions like cancer and Alzheimer’s, we need policies that support scientific innovation for discovery and development and a healthcare system that helps patients get medicines when they need them.
Regulatory policies can accelerate research, availability of generic medicines and allow information sharing that empowers the best decision-making for patient care.
We hear a lot about intellectual property (IP) rights in technology and in developing countries, but here in the U.S., IP rights support an environment that reimburses for investments and allows for the pursuit of the next cures.
Even our tax structure contributes to cures. We need reforms that place American biopharmaceutical innovation on equal footing with internationally based companies to allow for investment in the next cures.
We need a health system that supports access to high value treatments by:
- Driving more value based care rather than fee for service care;
- Incentivizing the use of quality services and treatments by stressing prevention, eliminating high patient co-pays and removing administrative burdens for physicians;
- Allowing for reliable and safe delivery of medicines;
- Connecting health care professional and patients.
As a part of the Ready for Cures community, you can help us realize these goals.