Summer 2018: A Health Policy Recap in 10 Quotes

Patient access developments didn’t stop for summer.  As we head into fall, here are 10 quotes from the news items – and new materials – that kept the health policy conversation lively during summer 2018.


  • “We’re not going to wait a decade or more for robust biosimilar competition to emerge.”

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, introducing the agency’s Biosimilar Action Plan


  • “In the next 60 seconds, I’m going to prove you wrong.”

A video from the Alliance for Gout Awareness explained how the disease has a far-reaching societal and economic impact.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing the state’s plan  to eliminate hepatitis C.


  • “Patients who do manage to cover the hefty out-of-pocket… effectively allow their pharmacy benefit manager to ‘double-dip.’”

Madelaine Feldman, MD, in a June 2018 Institute for Patient Access policy brief on co-pay accumulator adjustment programs.


  • “These therapies offer important benefits for those living with CF…”

ICER Chief Scientific Officer Dan Ollendorf, PhD, just before announcing that the breakthrough cystic fibrosis drug’s price should be reduced by 77 percent.


  • “A correct medicine with the wrong delivery device may be of little value.”

Allen Meadows, MD, and James Tracy, DO, in a July 2018 IfPA policy brief on why non-medical switching of asthma devices hurts patients.


  • “…Medicare Advantage plans may use step therapy for Part B drugs, beginning January 1, 2019….”

An August 2018 memo from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma announcing that some Medicare patients may now be required to fail first before getting access to the Part B drug their physician prescribed.


  • “Health plans don’t provide adequate coverage for integrative pain care.”

A statement agreed upon by 74 percent of respondents in this summer’s Alliance for Balanced Pain Management national survey on access to comprehensive, integrative pain care.


  • “…Drug importation doesn’t solve any of these core challenges.”

Scott Gottlieb, MD, in a March 2016 opinion editorial.  Now FDA commissioner, Dr. Gottlieb announced this summer a new working group to explore importation of foreign drugs as a tactic for reducing prices.


  • “It’s like dangling a life preserver over a drowning swimmer.”

Patient advocate Paula Dumas in a video from The Headache & Migraine Policy Forum on the importance of access to innovative new migraine therapies.


Follow the IfPA Policy Blog this fall for more videos, policy papers and insights on patient access.  Welcome back!

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