[Ip-health] KEI Comments on Patient Assistance Programs as referenced in the 2014 Special 301 Review Hearing
claire.cassedy at keionline.org
Fri Mar 7 14:20:05 PST 2014
KEI Comments on Patient Assistance Programs as referenced in the 2014
Special 301 Review Hearing
Among the comments that KEI filed today in the 2014 Special 301 Review
process were comments regarding pharmaceutical companies' donation and
patient assistance programs. An oft-cited claim by pharmaceutical companies
and those lobbying on their behalf is that donations and patient assistance
programs fully provide for those that cannot afford the high priced
medications offered by the companies. During the hearing for the Special
301 Report process as well as the US International Trade Commission hearing
on Indian trade policy, industry speakers repeated this claim as the
response to how companies are ensuring access to life-saving drugs for poor
patients who cannot afford drug prices that are sometimes several times
their total annual incomes.
The question then naturally arises, what is the extent of these programs?
KEI conducted a brief survey of major pharmaceutical companies' patient
assistance programs and found that this information was not readily
available. In order to make fully-informed decisions in the Special 301
Review process, the USTR needs better data on patient assistance programs,
particularly for patients with cancer living in developing countries.
See the attached file below for the full reply comments filed, regarding
drug company patient assistance programs.
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