On March 10, 2016, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) 2016 Annual Meeting, PhRMA president and CEO Stephen J. Ubl announced the association’s policy solutions for delivering innovative treatments to patients.
“I am a passionate believer in the power of biomedical innovation to save and improve lives,” Ubl said. “We are on the cusp of a golden era in medical discovery and have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of costly and debilitating diseases. But we can’t take this progress for granted.
“Now is the time for PhRMA to play a leadership role in advancing pragmatic, pro-consumer policies that enhance the private market and address costs holistically.”
The proposals in the policy framework are aimed at modernizing the drug discovery and development process, promoting value-driven health care, engaging and empowering consumers and addressing market distortions.
“We need to improve on the competitive market to build a sustainable, health care system that stems the growth of chronic disease and fosters the development of tomorrow’s cures.”
The policy solutions for delivering innovative treatments to patients include:
- Modernizing the Drug Discovery and Development Process – Pro-patient, pro-science, pro-market reforms at the Food and Drug Administration would enhance the competitive market for biopharmaceuticals, drive greater efficiency in drug development and discovery and help hold down costs for payers and consumers.
- Promoting Value-Driven Health Care – Payers face challenges in paying for the value of prescription medicines because regulatory barriers impede open communication by manufacturers, predictability regarding the biopharmaceutical pipeline, and innovative contracting. Value-driven payment for prescription medicines can promote efficiency and affordability by ensuring that more patients receive the best treatment for them, the first time around. We need to remove the hurdles making it difficult for innovative, sensible payer/manufacturer arrangements to emerge.
- Engaging and Empowering Consumers – A well-informed consumer is an engaged and empowered patient. We need to make more information on health care out-of-pocket costs and quality available to patients. In addition, vulnerable patients should have the protection of enforceable, common sense rules that prevent discrimination and remove barriers to access. These steps will improve coverage and access and help make medicines more affordable to patients.
- Addressing Market Distortions – The market-based U.S. health care system has worked well over time, but more can be done to help the market work even better. Addressing distortions in the market – like the rapidly growing 340B program, or the risk adjuster for commercial insurance that does not account for prescription drug costs – would help preserve the safety net, revive the health care market and improve affordable access to medicines for patients.
The platform can be viewed online here: http://phrma.org/sites/default/files/policy-solutions.pdf.