Continued Misconceptions on Cost: This week, another misleading account of spending on medicines was released. The report, issued by Express Scripts, ignored the fact that for the past 50 years, spending on retail prescription drugs has consistently accounted for just 10 percent of overall health care spending. Instead, it focused on the cost of treating the sickest patients with the most health conditions, and failed to address the tremendous benefit innovative medicines provide to patients, the health care system and society.
Innovation Is Worth Protecting: IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics issued a new report that addressed how cancer care has improved thanks to new therapies and continued innovation. As innovation continues to occur at a rapid pace, creating future promise for patients, it’s critical to note a Morning Consult survey that confirmed strong intellectual property (IP) protections are necessary for continued R&D. More than 60% of those surveyed believe IP spurs innovation, and Congress should protect patents to ensure advancements in treating devastating diseases continue.
More on Medicare: The #MedicareMonday series continued this week by taking a closer look at how proposals to impose new rebates could hurt the success of Medicare Part D. Substantial rebates already exist in the program, and these proposals would hurt patients by potentially jeopardizing access to needed medicines for seniors and disabled beneficiaries. Read more about the adverse impact of rebates in our latest blog, and check back with us for more on additional proposals that could adversely impact Part D.
Ask About Adherence: According to Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumer’s League (NCL), nearly three out of four Americans don’t always take their medications as directed. To address this issue, NCL launched a new initiative, called Script Your Future, which encourages health care professionals to talk to their patients about whether they can take their medicine. We will continue to ask about adherence in the coming weeks, so keep checking in to learn more.