One thing was made clear in this morning's panel on emerging markets: each market is different. So while the speakers, and moderator Katty Kay from the BBC, talked about the opportunities and challenges that emerging markets present, they emphasized that there is a bit of danger in discussing them generally.
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Kicking off Friday's annual meeting events, MassBIO President and CEO Robert Coughlin talked about the role that the state's government has played in growing the biotechnology community in Massachusetts, saying that "if you can get government, academia and industry to all work together for a common goal, we can solve any problem in the world."
A few bullets about the biotech sector in Massachusetts to consider from his speech:
It's been quite a day here in Boston. We've had some tremendously engaging speakers, fantastic moderators, and thoughtful commentary from the audience. Keep up the chatter on Twitter to share your thoughts or post them in our comments.
Talk to you tomorrow, and for those of you in town, good luck hunting down the city's best chowdah.
Follow Kate on Twitter @KateAtPhRMA.
Continuing the theme of partnership that has permeated the discussion today, Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development Director Kenneth Kaitin announced a new study detailing the growth of industry/academia partnerships during today's final panel on the innovation ecosystem (read the study here, and our statement on it here).
PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani began his remarks at our annual meeting on a personal note: "My hope, especially for my grandson, is that we will in the future have the innovative medicines to help treat what ails us. To ease our pain. To manage and cure our diseases. Everybody in this room shares that hope, not only for yourself, but for those you love."
Rare disease panel moderator Mike Huckman, Senior Vice President of MSLGROUP Healthcare and former CNBC commentator, asked panelists whether rare disease research is "having a moment" or whether this is a field that will continue to grow.
Genzyme President and CEO David Meeker responded that in his opinion, "this is an enduring need," reiterating that of 7,000 diseases, we only currently have 200-300 approved therapies.
I won't get into the details of Malcolm Gladwell's incredibly interesting lunchtime speech about his new theory of the "inverted U." After all, I don't want to scoop his forthcoming book.
Today's second panel discussed how the current environment in the U.S. - both from an economic standpoint and a policy standpoint - is affecting the healthcare ecosystem,
Former U.S. Representative Nancy Johnson (from my home state of Connecticut) gave an interesting, succinct overview of the question we all ask, whether from the private sector or the public sector: "How do you deliver affordability in healthcare and at the same time continue quality improvement processes?
We often say that a medicine sitting on a pharmacy shelf isn't benefiting anyone. By the same token, a medicine that sits in a patient's cabinet isn't helping that patient, either.
During a panel on how to improve health outcomes through prevention, adherence and innovation, panelists spoke about how to improve the ways that patients comply their their prescribed treatment regimens.
Speaking about the biopharmaceutical sector's presence in Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick discussed the Commonwealth's Life Sciences Initiative, a 10-year, $1 billion program intended to "spur private investment in innovation."
Since its launch, the program has seen every dollar of public investment attract three dollars in private investment, he said. The effect has been significant, driving job growth and spurring the state's already-strong biosciences cluster.
In his opening address today, Sanofi CEO Christopher Viehbacher - speaking as the PhRMA chairman - explained why our annual meeting is being held this year in Boston: "Boston wasn't chosen at random. We're investing in R&D here. We've got some of the top world-class hospitals and universities here. The Milken Institute has consistently ranked Massachusetts as the leader of medical research and innovation in America."
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.
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.