MassBio is a not-for-profit trade association founded in 1985 and committed to advancing Massachusetts' leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives. Today, the organization represents 975+ biotechnology companies, academic institutions, disease foundations and other organizations involved in life sciences and healthcare, the vast majority of which are engaged in medical research.
MassBio and its member organizations are committed to being part of a sustainable healthcare system where patients have access to the innovative treatments and therapies they need. That’s why MassBio advocates for research funding, and why its member companies are investing billions of dollars in the research and development of new scientific techniques, new diagnostics and new drugs to solve some of the world’s most vexing medical challenges. But that R&D investment, which is a major driver of the national economy and certainly here in Massachusetts, is threatened by a growing wave of efforts to increase barriers for companies trying to find the next generation of treatments and cures, said MassBio President & CEO Robert K. Coughlin.
“We have all heard a number of headlines about the rising costs of healthcare, with an overemphasis on the cost of drugs. MassBio continues to educate policymakers and other stakeholders that prescription drugs account for approximately 12% of overall healthcare expenditures, a proportion that has not changed in the last several decades. The true “cost” of innovative medicines and cures cannot be calculated in a vacuum. Our system must evolve beyond measuring cost to measuring value—value to patients and value to society,” Coughlin said.
Biotechnology has revolutionized the delivery of healthcare and has a meaningful impact on both patient well-being and public health. Cutting-edge therapies and technologies, many of which are being discovered in Massachusetts, can also add material value to the healthcare system not necessarily captured through snapshot cost analyses. MassBio argues that the current system—where insurers project and prepare on very short term horizons—cannot accurately measure the long-term benefits of innovative therapies, including costs avoided through decreased hospitalizations or the societal benefits of increased productivity. The system cannot readily absorb innovative treatments and cures that may have higher up-front costs but better value for patients and the system over time, Coughlin said.
“As an industry, we are focused on solutions. Our companies have embraced value-based contracting and alternative payment models and in many cases are actively working with Massachusetts insurers to ensure patients are only paying for the value a medicine provides. We continue to advocate for national policy changes to accelerate the approval of generics, the system’s mechanism to lower costs over time,” he said. “These are dialogues that have the potential to truly move the needle and help shape a healthcare system for today and into the future.”
MassBio is proud to continue to work with Research!America and its members to advocate for solutions at the national level that balance sustainability and access for patients.
To learn more about MassBio, visit www.MassBio.org.