By Rich Bagger, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Market Access for Celgene
At Celgene, we’re dedicated to improving the lives of patients around the world. In recent years, we have invested nearly 40 percent of revenue back into research and development, among the highest for any major company in any industry anywhere in the world.1,2
Each of the more than 8,000 employees at Celgene share a commitment to bringing new and novel therapies to patients for unmet medical needs.1 We know that for patients to truly benefit from these new advances in medical treatment, they must have meaningful and affordable access.
Our company’s unwavering commitment to advocate for pro-patient access public policy is exemplified by our yearly legislative summit, where employees gather from across the country in Washington, D.C. to visit with their elected officials.
This year, more than 100 Celgene employees will meet with lawmakers to advocate for two pieces of legislation that, if signed into law, will increase patients’ access to the medicines they need. The Cancer Drug Parity Act (H.R. 1409) and The Restoring the Patients’ Voice Act (H.R. 2077) remove burdensome access hurdles, restore the patient-physician relationship and hold the potential to improve outcomes for patients and the overall health care system.3,4
These two bipartisan bills will provide important patient protections, ensuring that patients receive the right therapy at the right time as prescribed by their physician.
“Celgene is proud to stand with patients and their families in advocating for public policy reforms that aim to improve the patient experience.”
Specifically, the Cancer Drug Parity Act will ensure that patients do not face higher out of pocket costs simply because they receive an oral anticancer therapy rather than one administered intravenously.3
The Restoring the Patient’s Voice Act will ensure that guardrails and proper patient protections are in place around the use of the utilization management tool known as “step therapy” or “fail first.”4
These proposals are supported by many patient and provider advocacy organizations representing disease areas where patients have high unmet medical needs. Celgene is proud to stand with patients and their families in advocating for public policy reforms that aim to improve the patient experience.
We hope that Members of Congress will join this effort to put patients first by advancing sound public policies that will help patients across America access the treatments they need to live better, healthier and more productive lives.
To learn how the Cancer Drug Parity Act can help patients with cancer, read “Bipartisan Federal Law Can Improve Access to Oral Cancer Treatments.”
1 Passion for the patient: 2017 corporate responsibility report. Celgene. Pg. 3, 16. https://www.celgene.com/content/uploads/celgene-responsibility.pdf Accessed April 2018.
2 2016 EU industrial R&D investment scoreboard. European Commission. 2017. http://iri.jrc.ec.europa.eu/scoreboard16.html Pages 50-51. Accessed April 2018.
3 H.R. 1409 – Cancer drug parity act of 2017. Congress.gov. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1409 Accessed April 2018.
4 H.R. 2077 – Restoring the patient’s voice act of 2017. Congress.gov. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2077 Accessed April 2018.