A: THERE IS AN URGENT NEED to improve patient access to medicines. This subject has devolved into recurring cycles of finger pointing among various sectors within the industry, including PBMs, distributors, hospitals, biopharma and generics companies, pharmacies, and others. The truth is that all these sectors take a percentage of the list price of medicines and therefore exert upward pressures, directly or indirectly, on pricing, while high insurance co-pays excessively limit patient access to medicines. All the parties must collaborate on solutions that enhance patient access while still incentivizing drug innovation. An example is Value Based Arrangements, which are nascent and need to be accelerated. We need leadership from CEOs and boards of the larger, more influential companies, whose examples would then be followed by others. Such leadership must also assert itself within the other sectors, as well as more broadly across the biopharma industry.
RON COHEN, M.D.
Ron is president, CEO, and founder of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., a public biotech company developing therapies for spinal cord injury, MS, and other nervous system disorders.