With gene therapy and other innovative new treatments on the horizon for many diseases, leaders in biotech are taking on the challenge of making sure patients get access to medical advancements when they’re approved and available.
At a Reuters Event, Pharma USA 2022, in Philadelphia last week, Debbie Drane, CSL Behring’s Senior Vice President of Commercial Development, moderated a panel on the industry’s role in ensuring access. Also participating as panelists were Keren Haruvi, President and Head of North America of Sandoz, a company that makes generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars, and Sandra Milligan, Executive Vice President, Head of Research & Development for Organon, which specializes in women’s health and biosimilars. It was, as one member of the audience noted, “a podium filled entirely with rock-star women in the pharma industry.”
“Access,” a term used in health care policy, means ensuring that the patient receives an accurate diagnosis followed by appropriate treatment that offers the best quality of life.
“The panel discussion really highlighted the value data and collaboration can play in fostering greater innovation and bolstering access,” Drane said. “To hear from others within the industry and see how they are dealing with challenges which have been amplified by the pandemic, it’s encouraging to see the proactive steps the industry is making to positively impact those living with rare and serious diseases.”
The panel discussed stakeholder collaboration and how new treatments can bring increased value for patients. For a patient living with hemophilia, for instance, the current standard of care requires regular intravenous infusions to replace the clotting factor they lack. A potential gene therapy could relieve patients of the life-long burden of infusions to prevent bleeding. CSL Behring, a global biotech leader with 25,000 employees, recently shared Phase 3 clinical trial data about a potential gene therapy for hemophilia B.
Also attending the Reuters conference was CSL Behring’s Kris Thiruvillakkat, Head of Global Market Access. On Thursday, Thiruvillakkat participated in a panel discussion with other biotech leaders to review the access and reimbursement landscape for first-to-market therapies without good analogues.
“CSL Behring is committed to partnering with payors to find models which manage the uncertainties of long-term effectiveness of transformational gene therapies,” he said.