Race for COVID Vaccines, Therapies Topped Past Year’s Trends

As we look back over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has been top of mind for many involved in pharma commercialization and coverage. Less than a year after scientists sequenced the COVID genome, the FDA granted emergency use authorization to vaccines from Pfizer Inc./BioNTech SE and Moderna, Inc. in December — an unprecedented time frame for vaccine development, testing and rollout. Shortly thereafter, vaccinations started to be administered. AIS Health spoke with a variety of industry experts on COVID-related trends over the past year.

Could you comment on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact over the past year?

Dan Danielson, R.Ph., senior director of the access experience team at PRECISIONvalue: “I don’t think you [can] underestimate the economic and societal impact that COVID-19 has. In the U.S., the overall economy has contracted from the pre-pandemic period, with consummate contraction in GDP [i.e., gross domestic product] and job losses on a scale most of us have not seen before.

“Lost jobs meant changes in insurance for many people. Most appear to have been able to transition from their former employers’ coverage to that of their spouse’s employer, those eligible may have joined Medicaid, [and] others lost coverage altogether. The hardest-hit sectors were, and are still, made up of lower-wage workers, many of which did not have employer-sponsored insurance and may have already been on Medicaid or already uninsured.

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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