PAP 2023: A Summary of Unparalleled Strategies to Drive Access and Affordability


Pharma Commerce offers a synopsis of some of the conference’s events.

The Pharma Commerce team just returned from Informa’s Patient Assistance & Access Programs (PAP) show in Philadelphia, and as previously stated by colleague Nicholas Saraceno, the event was featured as a component of the larger Access USA program. In addition to conducting videos interviews that can be found here, our team was also in attendance for multiple breakout sessions.

“Patient Assistance for Gene Therapies,” featured Kevin O’Meara, VP of patient services solutions and Skyler Vise, senior director of client delivery and excellence, both with Eversana, a provider of commercial services to the life sciences industry. In a collaborative effort, they spoke on the “critical” need to create patient-friendly cell and gene therapy (CGT) programs, acknowledging that it will be expensive at the same time. Other points made in the discussion included:

  • Currently, it takes four to five years to diagnose a CGT patient. During this process, time should be used to develop patient support programs, especially given the high price tag.
  • Once CGT is ready, it’s important to keep a steady line of communication with the patient. Having minimal info could lead to a delay in treatment.
  • This type of therapy needs to be administered within 72 hours. If an appointment is cancelled, one must move quickly to coordinate a replacement. If no substitute is found, the product will go to waste.
  • Keep in contact throughout the process to ensure patient adherence.

Another seminar, “Understanding the Need for Patient Assistance Post-Inflation Reduction Act,” featured a panel consisting of Kevin Hagan, CEO of the PAN Foundation, George Valentine, patient and family advisory council member for the foundation, and Kelly Brantley, practice director for Avalere Health, a healthcare consulting firm, all of whom spoke on the impact of this reform.

According to Hagan, reforms will lead to a Medicare cap limit of $2,000 by 2025. In a PAN Foundation survey of 2000 individuals, three out of four believe this new cap will make it difficult for them to keep up with their medical bills. Additionally, 57% of respondents that have already hit their cap stated that they have had to cut back on food expenses.

Valentine finished the discussion with his personal experience. Diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2002, the council member would hit his out-of-pocket from chemo treatments on a yearly basis. He stated that around 2016, his doctor reached out to him with news that he would be able to take one pill twice a day, significantly improving his quality of life. Despite the prospect of having a quality of life again, Valentine was challenged with another obstacle: the medication costing $16,000 a month. His doctor suggested getting in touch with PAN for support.

“If it weren’t for PAN, my quality of life would go down, and I would not be here today,” he says. “The PAN Foundation covering costs has helped me talk more about regular life, such as where I’m going to spend time with my grandson.”

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