Impact on Outcomes & Spending

For decades, biopharmaceutical products have been important tools in achieving positive health outcomes for patients with a variety of conditions.

For decades, biopharmaceutical products have been an important tool in achieving positive health outcomes for patients with a variety of conditions.

NPC research found investments made 20 years ago to combat the worst diseases of that period are continuing to pay-off. Six of the top seven causes of death and disability in 1995 have seen significant improvements in patient outcomes associated with these investments. Findings from a physician survey indicated that pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products were viewed as accounting for the greatest impact on mortality and morbidity across these top conditions. And biopharmaceuticals developed in that period and beyond represent significant advances in treatment for diseases and conditions such as cancer, cerebrovascular diseases, HIV and others.

After excluding other factors, physicians specializing in these conditions ... considered pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals as having the greatest postdiagnosis effect across all 8 conditions, with 56% of outcome gains attributed to this innovation category.

The Effect of Medical Technology Innovations on Patient Outcomes, 1990-2015: Results of a Physician Survey
Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, June 2018

These findings were reinforced by other researchers who quantified how public health, pharmaceutical products and other medical care contributed to improved life expectancy between 1990 and 2015. The research found that 35% of the increase in life expectancy was attributable to biopharmaceuticals. In comparison, other medical care accounted for only 13%.

Beyond life expectancy, other NPC research found that novel specialty therapies slow disease progression and improve patient quality of life for conditions with high specialty pharmaceutical spending and use of Medicare Part B products for rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and breast cancer.

The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need to consider policies that promote innovation as researchers across the globe work to develop therapeutics and vaccines to combat this virus. In totality, these research findings demonstrate how vital pharmaceutical products are and the need for policies that recognize their benefits and encourage, not dampen, future investment in innovations that will lead to improved patient outcomes in the decades to come.