The Catalyst

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04.12.12 | By Christian Clymer

This guest post comes from Manos Perros, head of the AstraZeneca Infection Innovative Medicines Unit.

At the PhRMA annual meeting this week, leaders from across the industry will highlight the power of partnerships and the impact of innovation on patients.

04.12.12 | By Greg Lopes

There's nothing more important for a patient than hope - especially for patients faced with a cancer diagnosis. And when faced with a choice between a treatment that offers a shot at longer-term survival vs. a treatment that guarantees a shorter survival gain, cancer patients take the gamble and choose hope.

These findings may not sound surprising. But what is surprising is that our current models for valuing new treatments do a very poor job recognizing this.

04.12.12 | By Kate Connors

We've traveled north to Boston for PhRMA's Annual Meeting, which begins today. My excellent colleague Christian has been doing some interviews leading up to our meeting and giving details about how to engage, but I wanted to give you all a reminder that our Website will be a great resource for those of you who aren't going to be able to join us.

04.11.12 | By Christian Clymer

Our guest post comes from Dennis Urbaniak, Vice President, U.S. Diabetes at Sanofi US.

Tomorrow, attendees at the PhRMA Annual Meeting will be discussing ways of improving health through innovation. I wanted to share some thoughts on this important topic as it relates to diabetes.


I'm blogging from the road this week, from the highly energized and hyper-organized National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit, sponsored by the well-known Kentucky organization, UNITE.

04.10.12 | By Christian Clymer

In my ongoing conversations about the upcoming PhRMA Annual Meeting, I was very fortunate to spend a few moments with Frank Oldham, the President and CEO of NAPWA. Frank is the model of a patient advocate. He has lived the struggles of the people he represents and is now using his voice and experience to fight for everyone living with HIV/AIDS. "We want people living with HIV to have the best possible care and treatment services as well as the best quality of life they can have," he says.

04.09.12 | By Greg Lopes
In the U.S. we spend more on cancer care than in other countries, but what are we getting for the additional money? I'm excited to say that new evidence is out that shows American cancer patients are not only living longer compared with European patients, but also that the monetary value of this enhanced survival also outweighs the treatment costs.
04.09.12 | By Christian Clymer

As we've been discussing here on The Catalyst, PhRMA will host its 2012 Annual Meeting this week on April 12 and 13 in Boston ("Making Medicines Do More"). We'll be bringing together industry CEOs, patient and advocacy groups, and PhRMA staff in a series of panels and group discussions to explore major issues and trends facing our industry.

04.05.12 | By Christian Clymer

Recently, I was lucky to catch up with Jim Firman, President and CEO of the National Council on Aging (NCOA), and discuss PhRMA's upcoming Annual Meeting. Jim and I have been working with each other for more than 8 years., having both worked on programs to help increase access to medicine for American's most vulnerable patients.

04.05.12 | By Christian Clymer

Happy birthday, PPA.

Seven years ago, PhRMA launched the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. Since then, more than 7 million patients have been matched through the PPA with programs that could help them get their medicines for free or nearly free. Like I do on my own birthday, I'd like to take a moment to look back at how far we've come and be proud of what we've achieved.


Today I read a great story about a police captain in the Royal Canadian Mounted Policy (RCMP) who began issuing "positive tickets" when he saw kids doing something right. The gentleman wrote a book about his theory of rewarding good behavior as well as enforcing bad, and changing the role of the police force and their work with children in a community.

04.04.12 | By Christian Clymer

PhRMA's Annual Meeting is right around the corner. As you've seen in a previous post by our CEO John Castellani, this year's meeting "is appropriately titled 'Making Medicines do More,' and its goal is to better tell the story of America's biopharmaceutical research industry." We are really looking forward to the discussions in the conference rooms and online.

04.03.12 | By Preet Bilinski

The other day, a number of my colleagues and I headed to Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C., which PhRMA has been volunteering with since 2007. This year we were working in the Ivy City neighborhood, the location for the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter work project, two years ago. Each year since 1984, former President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, give a week of their time to help Habitat for Humanity build homes.

03.29.12 | By John Castellani

The date for PhRMA's Annual Meeting is fast approaching (April 11-13 in Boston, MA).


Today, we have a guest post from Marv Shepherd of the University of Texas.

03.28.12 | By Kate Connors

Wall Street Journal reporter Shirley Wang wrong a post for the Health Blog yesterday that was pretty jarring: "Most Parents Don't Fill Their Kids' Asthma Meds."

The original study, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was intended to evaluate "whether out-of-pocket costs for medications influenced parents' willingness to fill prescriptions for their children's asthma."


I've documented my astronomy nerd-dom before, so reading the CERN coverage of new imaging tools available to cancer doctors that can help scan and detect diseases earlier gave me a special thrill.


PhRMA's 2012 annual meeting will take place in Boston, a city that many leading biopharmaceutical research companies call home. In many ways, the Greater Boston area is an important hub of biopharmaceutical innovation and considered the center of many collaborative partnerships between industry and academic institutions.

We couldn't have picked a better place to gather and discuss all of the opportunities and challenges the industry faces as the health care and innovation landscape continues to evolve.


The next few weeks will be a swirl of airports and far-flung hotels, as I make my way to Norwalk, CT and Orlando, FL for two conferences on prescription drug abuse.

03.26.12 | By Greg Lopes

We all know governments are looking to save money these days. There are right ways to do it, and there are risky, misguided ways to do it.