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“I thought maybe I wasn’t very good athletically.”  That was iconic Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s recollection of her first experience with asthma attacks.

Joyner-Kersee shared her story at Tuesday’s third annual National Policy and Advocacy Summit on Biologics and Biosimilars.  And while the anecdote drew laughter from the audience, her story underscored the importance of the program’s themes: the value of innovation, the power of treatment and the importance of patient access.

Held in Washington, DC, the event was sponsored by the Institute for Patient Access, the Alliance for Patient Access and the Biologics Prescribers Collaborative.  Patients, government representatives, physicians and advocates explored a range of policy issues during the day-long event.

The question of biosimilar uptake loomed large.  In an interview with AfPA Executive Director Brian Kennedy, the Food and Drug Administration’s Leah Christl, PhD, described the FDA’s education initiatives.  “It’s not just enough to say, ‘trust us, we got this, [biosimilars are] different, and you don’t need to understand why,’” said Christl. “It’s really important to explain what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and what we’re looking for in our scientific standards.” She also explored how federal policies could encourage uptake of biosimilars.

Several panels explored the day’s themes in depth.  In a discussion on innovation, moderator and Alliance for Patient Access Chairman David Charles, MD, marveled at “breakthrough treatments,” “new diagnostics,” and “wearable devices that weave health care into people’s busy everyday lives.”  The panelists provided their own insights:

A second panel discussion explored how health care payment models impact patients’ ability to benefit from such innovation.

The day’s third panel highlighted advocacy efforts in state capitols across the country.

The day ended with remarks from AfPA Chairman David Charles, MD.

For related materials, see:

Social media: #BiologicsSummit2018
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