UPDATE: World Health Assembly considers making clinical trial costs transparent – and it should start with the US – ConnPIRG

UPDATE: World Health Assembly considers making clinical trial costs transparent – and it should start with the US – ConnPIRG

 
Started on staff: 1986-1991; 2020
B.A., magna cum laude, Boston College; J.D., high honors, George Washington University Law School
Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior director of health policy with the National Consumers League, senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She serves on the board of the Patient and Caregiver Engagement Advisory Group for the National Quality Forum. Patricia enjoys walks along the Potomac and sharing her love of books with her friends and family around the world.
Pharmaceutical companies defend their high prices by pointing to the high costs of running clinical trials when developing new medications. They insist they need high drug prices are needed to recoup the cost of running trials. But how much are they really spending on clinical trials to prove their new drugs’ effectiveness? It’s hard to say because they don’t disclose that price tag in any detail – even when public tax dollars are footing the bill.  
We don’t have to wait for the World Health Assembly to act – the U.S. should lead the charge. 
The Pharmaceutical Research and Transparency Act of 2022 introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives will require drug companies to disclose the amount of money they spend to conduct clinical trials and put that information in a public database so we can all see if their claims of high costs are valid. It’s time to get at the cost drivers in our system – but clinical trials may not actually be one of them. 
US PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) health care campaign director Patricia Kelmar said that “these bills are a vital start to pulling down the obstacles to competition and bringing about needed reforms.”
Photo Credit: National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
 
Started on staff: 1986-1991; 2020
B.A., magna cum laude, Boston College; J.D., high honors, George Washington University Law School
Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior director of health policy with the National Consumers League, senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She serves on the board of the Patient and Caregiver Engagement Advisory Group for the National Quality Forum. Patricia enjoys walks along the Potomac and sharing her love of books with her friends and family around the world.
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