In November 2011, I participated in the Conference of Generic Drugs in Asia (CGDA) organized by the Federation of Asian Pharmaceutical Associations (FAPA). I spoke representing the consumers perspective. Below is my presentation including some ad libs.
Being the 3rd to the last speaker in a two days full conference has the advantage because people are rather tired and would want to see and hear the presentations quick. So instead of 30 minutes alloted to us, I will speak for only 15 minutes as much as possible, so you have to read fast as I will speak fast 🙂
During the welcome dinner last Friday, some fellow people there including fellow speakers asked me if we are a government think tank. So I added these (3rd and 4th) slides).
(5th slide) Consumer interest is more options, period. Whether the price is lower or higher, the quality is shiny or not, let the consumers choose. In a competitive market, consumers can choose whether they want to buy at equilibrium point A or B or C or … Z. Under a price controlled market, prices at the upper level are abolished and hence, consumer choices are reduced, limited to only those within or below the price set by the government. And this is wrong.
(Slide 8) The good news is that life expectancy around the world is rising, up to 80s in many rich countries like Japan, UK, etc. The bad news is that about two-third (2/3) of all deaths around the world on average are from non-communicable diseases (NCDs): cardiovascular, cancer, respiratory, diabetes, other NCDs. One lesson here is that oftentimes, there is high focus on curative healthcare and people neglect preventive healthcare.
(Slide 10) The implications for this data of declining AIDS death are: (1) medications and treatment are somehow working, (2) previous estimates and projections of death from AIDS were exaggerated, and (3) people are more careful these days to avoid getting AIDS.
(Slides 11 and 12) The same pattern of high incidence of death from NCDs is also observed in the Philippines. Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) and the Department of Health (DOH).
(Slide 13) The photos and images here are real, some are just for fun, but they illustrate the causes of many self-inflicted diseases — heavy drinking, smoking and eating.
We now go to Drug Price Control policy and the generics…
Prices of both innovator and branded generics have been declining even before the policy was imposed due to increasing competition.
(Slide 21) Data is from Watsons Pharmacy and it reflects the move towards the innovator drugs by the ABC class, the main customers of Watsons.
(Slides 22 and 23) These charts are from the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) and they illustrate the high costs of R&D, the high failure rate, in drug innovation. And of the 20 years total patent period, actual commercial period is only about 11 1/2 years. Which shows the need for IPR protection.
(Slide 24) Research against cancer is high, and this is good. My brother, his wife, my uncle, two of our wedding godmothers, have all died of cancer. It is a messy and costly disease.
These are news reports about the future promises of drug innovation: vaccine against malaria, patent sharing to kill AIDS… news drugs against viral infection, augmenting our immune system to identify and kill cancer cells.
(Slide 27) This is related to the presentation by Mr. Ramana of Dr. Reddy’s this morning. That Indian pharma companies are moving into the advance research and possibly innovator field.
(Slides 28 and 29) The shortage of critical medicines like anti-infection and anti-cancer were reported in the US, also in Canada. New cancer cases are now estimated at 12 million per year.
Here now are my concluding notes…
(Slide 35) Joey Ochave warned me of such press releases, that this and that new drug can treat dengue and other diseases. Nonetheless, if such vaccines are made available to the public, even at initial high prices, still people have the option of getting them or ignoring them and stick to standard preventive measures like having a clean environment.