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October 2014

We Work For Health CEO Connection

Clinical Trials Have Lasting Impact on Patients’ Lives and the Economy

For a patient with a debilitating or potentially fatal illness, clinical trials are often the brightest hope during a dark time. Clinical trials have long been used by the government, the biopharmaceutical industry and academia to determine the safest, most effective medicines and therapies for patients in need and often represent the only road that leads to future generations of better medicine. In addition to the obvious health benefits of clinical trials, the economic footprint that clinical trials leave in the communities in which they operate represents a sizeable contribution to local economies across the United States.

Clinical trials in the U.S. are a billion dollar business. In a study to be released in November, researchers concluded that investigators like the biopharmaceutical industry spend nearly $10 billion a year on clinical trials and related activity. This translates into a significant positive economic impact for the communities in which the trials are established. In 2013, for example, the biopharmaceutical industry alone spent $9.818 billion dollars in clinical trial locations and sponsored 6,199 trials involving a total of 1.1 million volunteer participants.

Clinical trials are heavily supported by industry outside the biopharmaceutical sphere. Key vendors and associated business partners contribute to the economy through their support of the process including management and data analysis, material supplies, distribution functions, and many other critical components of the overall program. According to the study, in 2013, biopharmaceutical industry business partners generated an additional $25 billion across the country in activity related to clinical trials.

Last year, industry sponsored clinical trials occurred in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. States with the highest number of active clinical trials included California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, with each state hosting thousands of distinct trials bringing both revenue and hope to people and communities across the United States.

To learn more about clinical trials visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

The Value of Medical Innovation and its Impact on Patients and Society

Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the media about the high cost of new medicines, specifically one to treat the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The issue that hasn’t seen much print, however, is the higher cost of not treating hepatitis C and the value of treatment, both in terms of improved health for the patient and in deferred overall health care expenses that new medicines, like this one, provide.

The discovery and development of innovative medicines is an integral part of the modern health care ecosystem. Through medical innovation, the biopharmaceutical sector and its partners make steady, hopeful progress each day, building on ever-expanding scientific knowledge, discovering new medicines and seeking the next advance. Ultimately, the development and appropriate use of innovative medicines delivers tremendous value to patients, the health care system, the economy and society as a whole.

New medicines can alter the course of a disease, improve the lives of millions of patients, and help avoid substantial costs in other parts of the health care system. Using the hepatitis C example, we know that more than 3 million Americans are infected today1 and it is projected that without the availability of new and forthcoming treatments and cures, total annual medical costs for patients with the disease would more than double over the next 20 years from $30 billion to more than $85 billion.2 Average annual treatment costs for end-stage liver disease are estimated at $59,995 per patient,3 and for those with liver cancer, per patient costs are estimated at $112,537.4 Liver transplant costs range as high as $500,000 per patient and require many years of costly follow-up care.5

New therapies have cure rates of up to 90 percent and have far fewer side effects, making it easier for patients to adhere to their medication regimens.6 These more effective treatments can reduce hospitalizations and provide greater opportunity to improve outcomes for HCV patients who are frequently unable to work or have significantly more lost work days per employee than other workers, including sick leave, short‐term disability, and long‐term disability. This is great news for patients, and for the health care sector. But more work needs to be done with HCV and other diseases.

Current medicines and innovations yet to be developed are critical for the future of patient health. The biopharmaceutical sector is committed to helping patients live longer, healthier lives and is continuing the fight against some of the most serious diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and hepatitis C.

Medicines are vital components of patient care, and provide measurable value, both in terms of quality of life for people and to our economy. Understanding the value, along with the cost, of biopharmaceutical research is critical to sustain an environment conducive to it.

CEO Corner


Daniel Tasse
Ikaria
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Why I am an Innovation Voter

Every day, decisions made by elected officials at city halls, in the state legislatures and in the halls of the U.S. Capitol affect the way that we live our lives and, ultimately, the way we are able to do business and thrive in the American economy. We all have a say in choosing the people who make those decisions and, as an industry, our collective voice is extremely important.

In the next few weeks, across America, votes will be cast that will impact our industry’s ability to bring new, cutting-edge medicines to the patients who need them. As part of the biopharmaceutical industry, we form the foundation of one of the country’s most dynamic innovation and business ecosystems. As representatives of this proud sector – and as voters – we must remind candidates that a vote for medical innovation is a vote for better patient health and economic strength. This election year the biopharmaceutical industry faces significant challenges from many external factors, including tests of our intellectual property laws and assuring affordable access to our medicines. It is critical that everyone in the biopharmaceutical industry understands the position of legislators on the key issues that impact our companies and the patients we serve.

Your voice and your vote do make a difference. In 2012, six U.S. House races were determined by less than 1% of the total vote. With our industry facing increasing regulatory and legislative pressures, it is critical that our voice is heard in these and all elections. While we won’t all agree on every particular candidate or policy, the priority for each of us is to make the best-informed decision.

To learn more about the key issues and what’s at stake this November 4, visit www.wevoteforhealth.org. This site is an important resource for all biopharmaceutical industry employees and their families during election season. We Vote For Health provides state-specific information about how to register to vote, how to vote early or absentee, how to find your polling place and much more. At Ikaria, we have made sure that all of our employees nationwide know their voting options and have the tools necessary to be an informed voter.

Make sure your candidates know where you stand on the issues on November 4 and Vote for Medical Innovation.


Let’s Go Vote! Watch our video at www.weworkforhealth.org/videos/lets-go-vote-for-health and get ready to go to the polls on November 4.