Amanda Forys, MSPH: Well thank you Christy; this has been very informative. Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share?
Christy M. Gamble, JD, DrPH, MPH: Absolutely. We always push for the patient to be at the center of healthcare in the healthcare system and making patients a priority when it comes to healthcare innovation.
The biologics and the biosimilars field is exactly where we’d like to have that conversation that’s making the patient a part of the conversation and the priority. When it comes to healthcare innovation, we want to make sure every patient has access to healthcare innovation. We know that some patients—people of color and low-income patients—have not been able to realize the benefits of innovative therapies.
We want to really put out there that affordability and access have to go hand-in-hand because when you don’t have access to the right medication, the most effective medication, then you’re essentially not going to have equity in care. That’s going to lower the quality of care and health outcomes for a certain set of this population, which is not fair. We want to make sure that all patients have access to healthcare innovation. One way of doing that is by having conversations like this.
Amanda Forys, MSPH: Absolutely. You know, I spend most of my time thinking about the Medicare patient population, that’s my big focus, and access is a huge issue for them. You have older people on limited incomes being diagnosed [and prescribed] these very expensive therapies, and much of the same issues that you’ve raised—they’re trying to control costs and deciding between eating and paying for their medication.
I think we’ve got big issues for us in the coming years. We want to have innovation we want to have therapies. They are expensive; how do payers manage that? We’ll have to see how they come up with new, innovative models of things that CMS [says] they’re testing out or talking about if those things are going to play out for the Medicare and Medicaid population in the coming years. If we start seeing other means and new products coming to market [such] as biosimilars, what are they going to do and how could they change this? I think we’ve got an interesting time ahead of us to see how this all plays out. T
Amanda Forys, MSPH: Thank you so much for your contributions to this discussion. On behalf of us both, we thank you for joining us and we hope you found this Peer ExchangeTM to be useful and informative.