We are in a new era of medicine where breakthrough science is transforming patient care, but these innovations are meaningless if they don’t reach patients. Medicines only work if patients can both access and afford them. Moreover, it is critical that this access be culturally diverse and inclusive.
Improving Access and Equity for U.S. Patients
The biopharmaceutical industry continues to work with policymakers to advance pragmatic, pro-consumer solutions that help patients access the medicines they need without stifling innovation. Here’s how:
It’s the biopharmaceutical industry’s mission to find lifesaving treatments. It’s also our responsibility to help patients access those treatments.
While long-term changes are needed for our health care system to effectively work for patients, the industry is finding ways to help patients right now:
Providing patients with cost information and tools to navigate insurance coverage: PhRMA member companies have launched the Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT), a web platform designed to help patients, caregivers and health care providers learn more about some of the resources available to assist in accessing medicines.
Working across the health care system: Biopharmaceutical companies are working with other health care stakeholders to develop new ways to pay for medicines through innovative, results-based contracts that can improve affordability and more tightly link the price of medicines to the outcomes they deliver for patients.
For example, to date, insurers and biopharmaceutical companies have announced 75 such innovative contracting agreements – covering nearly 30 conditions – and their continued use promises to deliver even greater value to the health care system in the future.
Promoting policies that can support both access and innovation: Rather than harming the highly successful U.S. research ecosystem and the patients who need innovative treatments, the biopharmaceutical industry advocates for policies that will support patient access and affordability without undermining the development of tomorrow’s life-saving medicines.
Through thoughtful, market-based approaches we can continue to support a thriving biomedical research and development ecosystem and allow the biopharmaceutical sector to continue to partner with the public sector to deliver innovative medicines and improve the lives of patients in unprecedented ways.
Diversity is essential to a robust innovation ecosystem that can create new medicines for those who need them. America’s biopharmaceutical companies are pushing for necessary, positive and long-term change to better meet the needs of Black and Brown communities in America, and it starts with two sets of foundational principles:
- Racial justice principles: In July 2020, PhRMA member companies released racial justice principles that push the industry to have honest conversations, seek to make the industry more inclusive and lean in on the importance of diversity in clinical trials.
- Clinical trial diversity principles: In November 2020, PhRMA member companies launched the first ever industry-wide principles on clinical trial diversity. These principles build on our commitment to earn trust and address the systemic issues that deter Black and Brown communities from participating in clinical trials, so that people who want to participate, can.
The issue of health inequities is not a new problem. It is a longstanding symptom of the systemic racism experienced by Black and Brown Americans. Moreover, addressing the long-held and deeply rooted skepticism in Black and Brown communities regarding the industry’s clinical trial programs is fundamental to any effort to improve health care equity and build a system of biopharmaceutical innovation that best serves people of color.
For these reasons, biopharmaceutical companies have committed to pushing for necessary, positive and long-term change to better address the needs of diverse communities.
Supporting Today’s New Era of Medicine
Facing a life-threatening or life-altering illness is difficult enough, and no patient should have to also fight to secure the medicines they need. The biopharmaceutical industry committed to supporting the new era of medicine, while ensuring it’s easier for patients to access these innovations too. Learn more at phrma.org/equity.