This is a guest post from John C. Lechleiter, PhD, who is Chairman, President and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company. Starting today, Mr. Lechleiter is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of PhRMA.
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Today, Americans are plugged into a constant stream of news and information like never before in history, yet many patients are still struggling to remain informed on their basic healthcare needs. Adele Gulfo, President and General Manager of U.S. Primary Care for Pfizer, makes the case that more must be done to build a direct dialogue with patients and encourage healthcare compliance. Listen to Adele discuss the vast opportunities we should tap into in order to break barriers and proactively reach patients to improve health outcomes.
Listen as healthcare consultant Ron Williams shares his message of ensuring the U.S. healthcare systems does a better job of managing the health of the population. While it is important to be able to effectively diagnose and treat illnesses, the treatments are only as successful as the patient's ability and willingness to receive them. Mr. Williams outlines how patients can avoid the progression of their illnesses into a more serious chronic disease by better understanding their role in complying with their advised medical regiment.
The benefits of medical innovation span far beyond improving patient outcomes and stemming healthcare costs. Research and development spurs jobs and injects much-needed capital back into the economy as Americans build and maintain new facilities from the ground up.
Mellanie T. Hills is a heart disease survivor, heart health expert, patient advocate, award-winning author, and founder and CEO of the non-profit American Foundation for Women's Health and StopAfib.org, an atrial fibrillation patient advocacy organization. Atrial Fibrillation is the most common irregular heart beat that causes strokes in 1.7 million people each year, but the root cause has not been identified. Listen to Mellanie discuss this devastating condition and the need for raising awareness and discovering the cause.
The U.S. is a global leader in medical research and development, but is that leadership role at risk? James Capretta, a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) focuses on public policy and economic issues with a focus on health-care and entitlement reform and previously served as an Associate Director at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Listen to what he worries could jeopardize our country's competitive advantage in medical innovation.
New PhRMA Chairman John Lechleiter, President and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, continued the vein of optimism in his comments this morning. He urged those of us in the room "to stand up for policies that support innovation, to continue to build trust with our stakeholders, and to get our powerful story out."
We must do so, he said, to continue the "heroic work of healing and saving lives well into the future."
In their moderated discussion this morning, outgoing PhRMA Chairman Christopher Viehbacher (from Sanofi) and incoming PhRMA Chairman John Lechleiter (from Eli Lilly and Company) discussed ways that companies can maximize different types of opportunities.
Today we have a guest post from Samir Khalil, the executive director of public policy for Merck's Asia Pacific & China region. At PhRMA's Annual Meeting he participated in a panel discussion on healthcare trends in emerging markets.
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.
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.