Stephen Ubl - President & CEO of PhRMA | A Second Opinion Podcast

Stephen Ubl – President & CEO of PhRMA

Discussing drug pricing, supply chains, and the industry’s miraculous Covid-19 response.

PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl on Miracle of Creating a New Class of Medicine & Why Drug Prices are Actually At Historic Lows

This week, Senator Frist is joined by Stephen Ubl, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, known as PhRMA, which represents America’s leading biopharmaceutical research companies.

The U.S. biopharmaceutical sector directly employs more than 800,000 Americans and invests more than $100 billion in research and development annually — more than any other industry in America.  Steve leads the advocacy for this industry in Washington, DC, across the country, and even globally.

A policy expert with a record of enacting meaningful healthcare reform, Steve joins Senator Frist to do a deep dive on the drug industry – examining costs, the supply chain, and the industry’s unprecedented response to Covid-19.

Speaking about the record-setting development of Covid vaccines, Steve commented that, “It’s extraordinarily difficult to create a new class of medicine, but it’s really a miracle frankly to do it inside a calendar year.”

And being on the forefront of the effort to end the pandemic is just one of the transformative developments happening in the biopharmaceutical industry.  “It’s really an exciting time,” Steve explains.  “We just had the first cell and gene therapy approved to reverse blindness in kids.  CAR-T, which is really an incredible innovation aimed at cancer.  It’s a smart bomb essentially that goes in the body, kills the cancer cells but spares the healthy cells.  Great data coming out on sickle cell disease, Hemophilia A.  It’s really the golden era of medicine today.”

In addition to detailing the latest innovations, he and Senator Frist discuss the “white-hot political debate” surrounding drug pricing.  At odds with public perception, Steve shares that, “Prescription drugs are the only thing in the healthcare system where cost go down over time,” noting that drug spending and drug prices are actually growing at “historic lows,” both “under the rate of inflation.”

To hear more on this vital piece of the healthcare landscape that makes up about 15% of healthcare spend, listen to the episode here on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or YouTube.

For the sponsorship box:

Today’s podcast is made possible thanks to Olive — the company delivering innovation to healthcare through artificial intelligence.  All-in, enterprise-wide and always on, Olive tackles the many time-consuming and repetitive administrative tasks that bring care to a grinding halt. With unrivaled security and healthcare-specific intelligence, Olive is currently driving over $100 million in ongoing efficiencies for over 675 hospitals.  Visit to learn more, and check out Olive’s Covid-19 solutions here.