Heard on the pipeline: Access to medications

Market Access
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Solving the challenge of access to medication has fuelled many a debate among healthcare stakeholders over the years. Yet, while discussions have been plentiful, even fruitful, patients around the world still struggle to access treatments.

When pharmaphorum editor-in-chief, Jonah Comstock hit the floor of Reuters Pharma US, in Philadelphia last month, it seemed an ideal opportunity to find out what is stalling progress in this space. And so, he put one question to industry experts attending the event.

“What systemic changes are needed to ensure that medications become more accessible and affordable worldwide?”

Mindy McGrath

Senior executive and health industry advisor at Vynamic, an Inizio company

I think our system here in the United States is a very complex system. There are many players within the system – intermediaries, if you will. One thing we’re not doing enough of is talking about the role of the pharmacy benefit manager and that rebating model, which seems very opaque to many in the industry.

I don’t think we’ve had a really good national conversation on the intention of pricing in the United States. There is so much value in pharmaceuticals and yet I don’t think as an industry we’ve done a great job of really articulating and positioning that correctly. And as a result it becomes part of the headline news on a regular basis.

Headline news can be really dangerous because underneath of all of that there is a level of complexity that in many ways doesn’t reside with pharmaceutical companies. It really resides with the intermediaries that play a role in the US healthcare system.

Read the full article in pharmaphorum's Deep Dive digital magazine