One topic of discussion at last week's Partnering for Cures conference was a trend toward engaging patients as well as health insurers and other payers earlier in the drug development process in an effort to find both cost-savings and advances in medicine. Venture investment is down at the same time technical breakthroughs take increasingly longer, and companies must now find ways to collaborate with payers and demonstrate the value of their inventions, AdvaMed President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl said. Patient groups should collaborate more with insurers to improve benefit assessments and should more actively develop data beyond FDA approval trials to build a body of evidence around promising therapies, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation President and CEO Bob Beall said.

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