Can we afford the new era of medicine?
We live in a new era of medicine unimaginable just a decade ago. We can attack diseases at the molecular level and develop treatments based on a person’s genes. What researchers at America’s biopharmaceutical companies do today is nothing short of amazing.
Looking forward, this new era of discovery holds even more promise, but the work is even more difficult as America’s Biopharmaceutical Companies target the most complex conditions facing humanity. With 6,300 medicines in development globally, biopharmaceutical companies are investing heavily in cures and treatments for Alzheimer’s, various forms of cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and dozens of rare diseases – and having tremendous success.
Just imagine: personalized cancer treatment based on a patient’s individual genetic code, instead of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. What once was an idea is now a reality, thanks to our investment in biopharmaceutical science and innovation.
Unfortunately, many patients today are facing rising out-of-pocket costs and eroding coverage for prescription medicines. While for most patients, out of pocket costs remain low, over the last decade, changes in insurance benefits have resulted in far higher costs for some of the sickest patients. Patients increasingly face high deductibles and insurers often place new therapies on the highest tiers of formularies with co-insurance of up to 50 percent. These hurdles undermine the purpose of insurance and make it harder for patients to afford the medicines they need.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can afford the new era of medicine, and we can make it easier for patients to access these innovations too. We need – and can – do both.
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