National Pharmaceutical Council Celebrates 60 Years of Leadership in Health Policy Research

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This summer, the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) is celebrating 60 years as one of the leading biopharmaceutical research and policy-focused trade associations in the United States.  Founded in 1953 by the country's leading pharmaceutical companies, NPC has led the way in advancing the use of sound evidence and science to support clinical decisions made by health care stakeholders.

"Over the last 60 years the pharmaceutical industry has produced some of the world's most breathtaking discoveries that fight and cure diseases once considered to be death sentences," said Dan Leonard, NPC president. "And NPC has been there throughout, providing research and analysis for key stakeholders about how these innovations have impacted the health of our country.  We're proud that our efforts have informed support for policies that promote an environment where innovation can flourish. We can never take for granted the incredible leaps forward that we have made together."

NPC's mission remains now, as it did 60 years ago, to sponsor, participate in and promote scientific analyses of the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals and the clinical and economic value of improved health outcomes through innovation. And while this mission is central to the organization's work, the issues NPC engages in have evolved right along with the frequently changing health care landscape.

NPC's latest work has focused on informing efforts to incorporate comparative effectiveness research (CER) into the health care delivery system. NPC's focus shifted prior to the health care reform debate, which resulted in passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that placed a spotlight on CER. The ACA created the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and put billions of dollars behind its charge to integrate CER into the U.S. health care delivery landscape. NPC has long been examining the questions and concerns related to CER and working on solutions. Many of the key questions and answers NPC and its research collaborators have been exploring are embedded in PCORI's work today.

"CER is often seen as a tool to better understand how treatments work on individuals and how best to use this information to help health care providers determine the most appropriate treatments for their patients," said Leonard. "We consider this evolution to be important in helping make CER more valuable for improving the quality of care and health outcomes in America. Now we also need to focus on how best to communicate the results of CER studies to all stakeholders."

Leonard noted that "as we look out on the horizon, there are still many health care policy challenges for us to tackle." He categorized these priorities in three main areas:

Heading into the next 60 years the challenges remain familiar. "Maintaining America's leadership in the area of drug innovation will remain a key issue for the industry going forward. Biopharmaceutical companies have made enormous strides since NPC was founded, creating treatments that have saved countless lives, and increased the quality of countless more. We're proud to continue our work in supporting an environment that allows for continued medical innovation and promotes high quality patient care. The ability of all people to be healthy and thrive depends on fueling innovation here in the U.S.," said Leonard.

NPC has prepared for these coming challenges by better communicating about its research and distinguishing and positioning itself in an increasingly cluttered information environment. NPC has:

  • Re-launched its website to make it more user friendly and easily navigable;
  • Established new forms of communication that meet the needs of a broad group of interested parties including:
    • The creation of E.V. I.dently Today (a blog featuring news from around the Web such as tweets and other online sources);
    • E.V. I.dently (a monthly e-newsletter focused on evidence-based medicine, comparative effectiveness research, health and productivity issues, valued-based design and related research of importance to the pharmaceutical industry);
    • The CER Daily Newsfeed (a daily compilation of the latest news on CER);
    • The use of video where key decision makers and thought leaders discuss various topics;
    • The establishment of a Twitter feed that is followed by health care thought leaders;
  • Increased participation in industry and related events;
  • Expanded outreach and partnership with groups outside the biopharmaceutical industry, including health insurers; and,
  • Hired new staff to meet the needs of members and the demands of a rapidly changing health policy community, including an expanded research and policy staff.

NPC's 21 member companies include: AbbVie, Allergan, Amgen, Astellas Scientific and Medical Affairs, Inc., AstraZeneca, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Celgene, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Pfizer Inc, Sanofi, Shire, and Teva U.S. Branded Products.

About the National Pharmaceutical Council
The National Pharmaceutical Council is a health policy research organization dedicated to the advancement of good evidence and science, and to fostering an environment in the United States that supports medical innovation. Founded in 1953 and supported by the nation's major research-based pharmaceutical companies, NPC focuses on research development, information dissemination, and education on the critical issues of evidence, innovation and the value of medicines for patients. For more information, visit www.npcnow.org and follow NPC on Twitter @npcnow.

SOURCE National Pharmaceutical Council



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