Life Science Tennessee Conference 2016 (Opening Session)

The conference was kicked off with a talk from Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of Biotechnology Innovation Organization. He talked about the benefits of technologies and lamented the fact that some give the industry a bad name by charging exorbitantly high prices for certain drugs. He continued to talk about the innovations and benefits that biotechnology offers.

Facts about biotech companies and increasing healthcare costs:

Biotech companies aren’t the “fat cats” that the media makes them out to be. Nine out of 10 biotech companies don’t earn a profit.

Drug prices are not solely responsible for increases in insurance premiums. In 2015, there was a 2.8% increase in health care costs whereas insurance premiums increased an average of 8% in 2016. Most of this increase came from hospital costs (46%) and only 14.3% of the increase could be attributed to drugs (12.7% from others).

Insurance companies charge people 4% of hospital bills whereas they charge individuals >20% of the price of prescriptions drugs. For specialty drugs, the cost might be as high as 50%.

Mr. Greenwood said, “drugs don’t just lives, but health care cost as well”. For every $1 spent on vascular medication, $3-$10 was saved in hospital and doctors costs.

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