On July 28, the National Coalition on Health Care and West Health co-hosted the second of a two-part, Capitol Hill briefing series on drug pricing. The second briefing, “Drug Pricing Reform: The Costs of Inaction,” focused broadly on the evidence behind claims that lowering drug prices will lead to fewer drugs developed.
Watch the full recording here:
During the event, West Health and Dr. Fred Ledley, a former biotech executive, presented new research on how the industry could respond to changes in revenue and still maintain current R&D investments by shifting spending on marketing, advertising, and lobbying. The briefing also featured keynote remarks from Congressman Peter Welch. Access the presentation slides from the event here.
Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT)
Congressman Welch serves Vermont’s at-large congressional district. Since his election to Congress in 2006, he has been widely recognized as a thoughtful and effective legislator who chooses governing over gridlock. In an era of partisanship, he has worked across the aisle to create jobs, increase access to affordable education and health care, and much more.
Fred Ledley, MD, Professor, Bentley University
Fred D. Ledley is a physician-scientist, entrepreneur, and educator, who has authored >200 articles on topics ranging from molecular human biology and biotechnology, to STEM education, business, and bioethics. His work has contributed to emerging knowledge and policy related to human gene therapy, personalized medicine, and the translation of science for public value.
Shawn Gremminger, Director of Health Policy, PBGH
As Director of Health Policy at PBGH, Shawn leads efforts to improve quality and affordability for consumers and health care purchasers through federal policy. Shawn joined PBGH from Families USA, where he led all federal-government interactions and directed the launch of Families USA’s new health care value initiative, Consumers First.
Amy Herr, Director of Health Policy, West Health Policy Center
Amy Herr is an expert in state and federal health policy analysis focusing on long-term services and supports for seniors. Amy’s career has focused on enabling successful aging and lowering healthcare costs; she also has extensive experience with Medicaid program policy development and implementation.
Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) (Invited)
Congresswoman Slotking serves as the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 8th congressional district. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst and Department of Defense official.
The event built on the first briefing , which highlighted how high drug prices, coverage gaps, and other systemic issues drive health inequities for communities of color. The first briefing, “The Burden of High Drug Prices Among Communities of Color”, featured several prominent speakers (biographies below) and new data from West Health’s survey on drug accessibility and affordability.
Featured Speakers from First Briefing:
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL)
Congresswoman Underwood serves Illinois’ 14th Congressional District and was sworn into the 116th U.S. Congress on January 3, 2019. Congresswoman Underwood is the first woman, the first person of color, and the first millennial to represent her community in Congress. She is also the youngest African American woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives.
Congressman Steven Horsford (D-NV)
Congressman Horsford serves Nevada’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was elected in 2012 as Nevada’s first African American Congressman. Prior to 2012, he broke down barriers as the first African American Majority Leader in the Nevada State Senate. The Congressman was recently selected by the House Ways and Means Committee to lead the Racial Equity Initiative, which will address the role of racism in perpetuating health and economic inequalities.
Jamal Watkins, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Advancement, NAACP
Jamal R. Watkins serves as the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Advancement at the NAACP. Jamal previously led the Association’s efforts to maximize the African-American community’s participation and representation in our democracy as the Vice President of Civic Engagement.
Tim Lash, MBA, CSO and Executive Vice President, West Health
Tim Lash oversees the development and execution of West Health’s successful aging portfolio across its nonprofit applied medical research, policy and advocacy initiatives and outcomes-based philanthropy. This work supports the organization’s mission of lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services.
John Rother, President, NCHC
John Rother is President of the National Coalition on Health Care, America’s oldest and most diverse group working to achieve comprehensive health system change. Prior to joining the Coalition in 2011, Mr. Rother served as the longtime Executive Vice President for Policy, Strategy, and International Affairs at AARP.
David Certner, Legislative Counsel and Director of Legislative Policy, AARP
David Certner is the Legislative Counsel and Director of Legislative Policy for Government Affairs at AARP. He has been with AARP since 1982, and is a member of AARP’s Leadership team. He serves as counsel for the Association’s legislative, regulatory, and policy efforts, as well as for litigation opportunities before the courts.
Amber Hewitt, Director of Health Equity
Hewitt, a social justice expert, is responsible for developing strategic priorities that help eliminate racial, ethnic and other disparities in health care. Prior to joining Families USA, she was Manager of Policy and Advocacy at Nemours Children’s Health System—where she focused on health equity issues related to payment and delivery reform among a broad range of other key children’s health issues.