The Catalyst

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08.01.11 | By Kate Connors
Monday's Wall Street Journal features an op-ed (subscription) by Margaret Hamburg, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, who discusses the difficult balance that the agency strives to achieve between protecting the public health through regulation and promoting innovation and access.

Yesterday, we were talking about a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that found that proper use of prescription medicines by Part D beneficiaries is helping to reduce non-drug medical expenditures in Medicare overall. The core of the JAMA study:

07.27.11 | By Kate Connors

Once again, we're looking at the value of access to prescription medicines today, fueled by a study in today's Journal of the American Medical Association (subscription required).


A recent AP poll found that baby boomers' (born between 1946 and 1964) health concerns are focused mostly on possible cancers and memory loss. Obviously, these are important concerns for everyone as they age.

07.26.11 | By Kate Connors

A recent article lauding a so-called "looming wave of new generic pills," like many similar articles, fails to paint the bigger picture: that generics, while an important part of the healthcare system, ultimately play a limited role for patients.

07.22.11 | By Kate Connors
This week, a respected Maryland-based company announced that it is instituting a voluntary layoff program to thousands of its employees, representing the potential for significant job loss throughout the state and the region. It's a company that is dedicated to innovating, to building on previous successes to create novel products that surpass what came before. It is a company that invests heavily in its products and a company that is highly regulated.
07.21.11 | By Kate Connors

A few weeks ago, as I was visiting my family, I took one look at my two-year-old niece and said to my sister, "Mary's diaper needs changing."


There's a geek-blog site I check out periodically. It mostly writes about science fiction and popular culture, but occasionally it takes an interesting look at real developments in the sciences and medicine.

07.20.11 | By Kate Connors
We at PhRMA aren't the only ones who appreciate the value of jobs in the life sciences, including the biopharmaceutical research sector. In fact, yesterday the European Commission (EC) announced an investment of nearly €7 billion "to kick-start innovation through research." Out of that amount, more than €650 million is intended for healthcare research.

You should check-out the piece by Ken Thorpe that recently ran in U.S. News & World Report's Health section. The piece is entitled: Health Reform That Passes the Buck Is Short-Sighted.

07.19.11 | By Kate Connors

What disease can trace its roots back to the dinosaurs?

It's currently diagnosed in one out of five American adults...

...but it also affects 300,000 children, as well.

I've been looking over the new report from the McKinsey Global Institute featured at today's Atlantic's CEO summit on "The New Work Era." The report is entitled "An Economy that Works: Job Creation and America's Future" and it looks at job creation and what kind of things we need to be doing both in the near and long-term
07.18.11 | By Kate Connors
As we discuss the importance of jobs in the biopharmaceutical sector, and the dangers of policies that would ultimately lead to loss of these jobs, it's worth taking a moment to look at what these jobs really mean. As the Battelle report showed us, jobs within the sector support many other jobs outside the sector, many of which may not be what you'd expect, like day care centers and truck drivers.

David Brooks has a typically thoughtful column in today's New York Times. Brooks takes a look at the roll of healthcare costs in our budget debate and opines:

07.15.11 | By Kate Connors

New research, released today by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, affirms what we've been saying for awhile now: The average costs for medicines frequently used by Medicare Part D beneficiaries have declined significantly since the implementation of the program.