According to a new report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are developing 435 new medicines to target 15 leading chronic conditions affecting the Medicare population. These medicines in development include: 110 for diabetes, 62 for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, 67 for Alzheimer’s disease, 61 for heart disease (i.e., heart failure, hypertension, ischemic heart disease and high cholesterol), and 40 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Approximately 92% of older adults have at least one chronic condition and 77% have at least two, according to the National Council on Aging. The new report conveys a variety of new approaches to treat many of these disorders. Examples include: a potential new class of lipid-lowering treatments that would block a protein from interfering with the removal of LDL cholesterol from the blood; a medicine in development for heart failure that relaxes blood vessels and reduces fluid buildup, that could reduce damage to the heart and other vital organs related to the damage associated with heart failure; a long-acting oral medicine to treat type 2 diabetes that increases insulin secretion resulting in lower blood sugar levels, making it potentially a once-weekly versus daily treatment; a potential medicine for Alzheimer’s disease that inhibits beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme, that could reduce plaque formation and modify Alzheimer’s disease progression.