National Association of Specialty Pharmacy President Congratulates Lasker Award Winner Michael Sofia, Calls for Continued Innovation & Enhanced Delivery of Care

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy President Congratulates
Lasker Award Winner Michael Sofia, Calls for Continued Innovation & Enhanced Delivery of Care
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New York, NY (Sept. 14) — Michael Sofia was just honored with the prestigious Lasker Award, which recognizes scientists’ major contributions to medical science or those who have performed public service on behalf of the field. Sofia won the award for creating a pill to fight the once-incurable virus that has dominated today’s headlines: Hepatitis C. In response, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) President Burt Zweigenhaft issued the following statement:

“Just three years ago, patients suffering from Hepatitis C had few treatment options: the main drug employed against this viral disease was only available via injection, it was accompanied by serious side effects, and for many, the drug was not effective. Today, thanks to Michael Sofia for revolutionizing Hepatitis C care, there are groundbreaking medications available that demonstrate cure rates of over 90%, and with minimal side effects.

“Nonetheless, of the nearly 3 million Americans infected with Hepatitis C, more than three out of every four (78%) are unaware of their infection, and lack of treatment for this disease results in higher incidents of liver cancer, liver transplants, and other liver-related deaths. We now have drugs that can prevent much of that with an early cure, and leaving Hepatitis C untreated among infected Americans results in a much larger financial cost and burden to society. So with our modern technology and capabilities, we can ensure patients get the care they need, including adherence to costly therapies, which results in fewer visits to the emergency room, enhances quality of life, and reduces overall costs of care.

“Health care providers should look for responsible, reasonable and clinical utility in everything they do. That includes working together as an entire health care system, and partnering to provide the right drugs to the right patients at the right time, with the goal of eradicating diseases and providing the highest level of care available. Specialty pharmacies employ a patient-centric model to help patients with Hepatitis C and other diseases, and our model for care should become the norm, not the exception in America.”

NASP will convene its fourth annual meeting from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28 in Washington, D.C., kicking off with the industry’s first-ever Legal Day, and followed by a two-day discussion with senior healthcare executives and Congressman Earl “Buddy” Carter (GA-1) on the rapidly growing industry (full agenda here; RSVP to nasp@skdknick.com).

Specialty pharmacy (SRx) provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. Examples of these illnesses include cancer,hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease,rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020.

CONTACT: Danielle Moodie-Mills | nasp@skdknick.com
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