Gam­ing out the po­ten­tial high stakes of or­phan drug de­vel­op­ment

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - — Bob Her­man

Imag­ine you are a board mem­ber of a drug com­pany de­vel­op­ing an or­phan drug for pa­tients with life-threat­en­ing, rare dis­or­ders. Over­all, the in­ter­na­tional or­phan drug mar­ket is ex­pected to grow nearly 30% through 2014, fu­eled by the en­trance of big phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies and federal leg­is­la­tion fa­vor­ing or­phan drug de­vel­op­ment and cov­er­age. How should your prod­uct be de­vel­oped and priced? What con­flicts of in­ter­est ex­ist? How should pa­tients be as­sured ac­cess to your very ex­pen­sive but po­ten­tially life-sav­ing prod­uct?

At the Biotech­nol­ogy In­dus­try Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s 2014 con­ven­tion in San Diego June 23-26, six pan­elists will serve as imag­i­nary board mem­bers of that com­pany and sim­u­late the de­ci­sion process. Tim Mackey, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of anes­the­si­ol­ogy and a global pub­lic pol­icy re­searcher at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego, said the ses­sion will ex­plore cut­tingedge is­sues in bioethics and drug dis­cov­er­ies. “A lot of per­spec­tives will be at play, and it will be in­ter­est­ing to see if these dis­parate ac­tors on this board can come to a res­o­lu­tion,” he said.

At­ten­dees will also hear how pub­lic pol­icy is af­fect­ing phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Caro­line Pear­son, vice pres­i­dent at Avalere Health, will par­tic­i­pate in a con­ven­tion ses­sion fo­cus­ing on ac­cess to or­phan drugs in the Oba­macare ex­change plans. With higher out-of-pocket drug costs for many ex­change cus­tomers, their abil­ity to af­ford such ex­pen­sive spe­cialty drugs is in doubt. “Cost bur­den is one of the big­gest is­sues we are wor­ried about,” Pear­son said.

For­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton will give the key­note ad­dress June 25.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.