Menu Close

The legendary physician founder of Johns Hopkins, Dr. William Osler, once famously said: “Just listen to your patient; he is telling you the diagnosis.”

Many leaders of the nation’s biopharmaceutical industry claim they are listening to America’s patients, to their families and to their caregivers, who say they find medicines too expensive, and that they have lost trust in our industry.

A group of 215 leaders in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, academia, and life science investors issued aNew Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry Commitment to Patients and the Public.” The coalition is focused on ensuring access to medicines with pricing that reflects innovation and value to patients

The signatories of this New Commitment are holding themselves accountable for ensuring patient access to their products and meeting the highest ethical standards and business practices.

They says they recognize a moral imperative to lead the biopharmaceutical industry towards more responsible business practices; and again, a moral obligation to ensure that medicines reach every person who can benefit from them.

Every signatory to this New Patient Commitment pledges to pricing medicines at launch to reflect innovation, a genuine commitment to achieve broad access for patients, and ensuring that price increases are sustainable and guided by the need for uninterrupted patient access.

They also commit to work with all public and private insurers to find ways to limit or eliminate co-pays and deductibles and to supporting robust market competition through the approval of safe and effective generic and biosimilar medicines after our legitimate patent and regulatory protections expire.

Pharmaceutical company actions that pay generic companies to “delay” entry of generic competition have no place in a system where true competition must be fierce and fair.

They says they will not tolerate companies and other stakeholders who abuse this commitment to patients, or who abuse policies aimed at fairly rewarding innovation in pursuit of short-term financial gain. We will call out bad actors and bad practices.

Comments on the Commitment ranged from the cynical to the hopeful. Most reflected a “wait and see” attitude, and several questioned what such a commitment actually meant in practical terms.