Bioethics Blogs

Reminder: Health Affairs Briefing: Specialty Pharmaceuticals

We live in an era of specialty pharmaceuticals — drugs typically used to treat chronic, serious or life threatening conditions such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, growth hormone deficiency, and multiple sclerosis.  Their cost is often much higher than traditional drugs, and they are set to account for more than half of all drug spending by the end of this decade.

The October 2014 edition of Health Affairs, “Specialty Pharmaceutical Spending and Policy,” contains a cluster of articles examining the host of issues related to specialty pharmaceuticals: from the promise they hold for curing or managing chronic diseases, to the risk they pose for exacerbating health care costs and disparities, and the challenges they present for policymakers striving to balance both.

Please join us on Tuesday, October 7, for a briefing on the issue moderated by Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, Lower Level


Follow Live Tweets from the briefing @Health_Affairs, and join in the conversation with #HA_SpecialtyDrugs.

Health Affairs is grateful to CVS Health for its financial support of the issue and event.

Among the confirmed speakers are:

  • Troyen Brennan, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health, Specialty Medications: Traditional And Novel Tools Can Address Rising Spending On These Costly Drugs
  • Peter Bach, Director, Center for Health Policy Outcomes, Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, The 340B Drug Discount Program: Hospitals Generate Profits By Expanding To Reach More Affluent Communities
  • James Chambers, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts Medical Center Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Despite High Costs, Specialty Drugs May Offer Value For Money Comparable To That Of Traditional Drugs
  • Rena Conti, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago, National Trends In Spending On And Use Of Oral Oncologics, First Quarter 2006 Through Third Quarter 2011
  • Patrick Gleason, Director of Health Outcomes, Prime Therapeutics, and Adjunct Professor, University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy, Specialty Drug Coupons Lower Out-Of-Pocket Costs And May Improve Adherence At The Risk Of Increasing Premiums
  • Aaron Kesselheim, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Existing FDA Pathways Have Potential To Ensure Early Access To, And Appropriate Use Of, Specialty Drugs
  • Steven Pearson, Founder and President, Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, The Ethics Of ‘Fail First’: Guidelines And Practical Scenarios For Step Therapy Coverage Policies

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.