$6 million from Arnold Ventures advances prescription drug policy research

$6 million from Arnold Ventures advances prescription drug policy research

Laura and John Arnold


“With Arnold Ventures’ continued support, we look forward to expanding our work… [to] inform important decisions on medication use and access in the public and private sectors for years to come.”
AARON S. KESSELHEIM, MD, JD, MPH


In an era of warp-speed medical discovery and innovation, high drug costs and other healthcare barriers persist as major concerns in the United States. Millions of patients with chronic conditions struggle to afford prescriptions for therapies without cheaper generic alternatives. Meanwhile, large, for-profit pharmaceutical manufacturers have left key fields of drug development, including for antibiotics and therapies for rare diseases.

These are a couple of the long-standing issues in pharmaceutical policy and regulatory science being investigated by the Brigham’s Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL). Recognizing the team’s scientific leadership to make lifesaving medicines more affordable and accessible, Arnold Ventures, a philanthropic organization founded by Laura and John Arnold, renewed its support of PORTAL’s research in 2020 with a $6 million grant.

“Excessive drug prices and continued price hikes have saddled American families with debt, raised costs for everyone, including employers and taxpayers, and have created a system of healthcare that is unaffordable and inaccessible,” says Mark Miller, executive vice president of Arnold Ventures. “PORTAL’s work has helped generate the rigorous data and evidence-based analyses needed to guide decision-making on prescription drug policies that lower drug prices and ensure patients can access the care and treatment they need.”

Directed by Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, of the Brigham’s Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, PORTAL includes experts in medicine, law, epidemiology, and health policy. The team evaluates the impact of drug policies and regulations, and Kesselheim and his colleagues routinely testify before the U.S. Congress and liaise with Senate and House staff and the Food and Drug Administration. These activities have made PORTAL a leading academic voice in debates that are shaping the future of national prescription drug policy.

“Our goal is to improve the function of all aspects of the markets for prescription drugs and other regulated products to better serve patients across the country,” says Kesselheim. “With Arnold Ventures’ continued support, we look forward to expanding our work in several policy-relevant areas. The work will inform important decisions on medication use and access in the public and private sectors for years to come.”

About Arnold Ventures

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. Working in the areas of criminal justice, education, health, and public finance, the organization invests in sustainable change, building it from the ground up based on research, deep thinking, and a strong foundation of evidence. It drives public conversation, crafts policy, and inspires action through education and advocacy. Arnold Ventures is led by President and CEO Kelli Rhee. Founders and Co-Chairs Laura and John Arnold actively engage in the organization’s overall direction and daily execution.

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