The Catalyst

Most Recent Posts


So often the value of medicines gets lost in media reports when the focus is almost exclusively on cost.

Are we as a society willing to accept the fact that medicines, while not always inexpensive, provide great return on value because a child’s life has been saved or a friend was able to beat cancer? 

05.07.14 | By John Castellani

Each year at the National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit, discussions take place regarding the latest resources and tools for states, pharmacists, physicians, and law enforcement to use in combating the misuse and abuse of prescription medicines.

05.01.14 | By Jay Taylor

Yesterday’s release of the Special 301 report by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) once again underscores the challenges faced by innovators when confronted with deteriorating protections for intellectual property across the globe.

04.30.14 | By Leslie Chambers

As we continue to celebrate Parkinson’s Awareness Month with our recent Medicines in Development for Parkinson’s Disease report and our Conversations forum with leaders from the Parkinson’s community, today we also have a guest post from another voice in the community.

04.29.14 | By Preet Bilinski

Parkinson's is chronic and progressive, meaning that symptoms continue and can increase over time. The progression of Parkinson’s disease varies and is different for everyone. No one can predict which symptoms will affect an individual, and the intensity of the symptoms also varies. With April being Parkinson’s Awareness Month part of our efforts include reaching out to the community to hear their Parkinson stories.

04.28.14 | By Stephanie Fischer

I was grateful to have an opportunity to explain in a guest blogpost for Global Genes how the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent draft guidance on social media could have a direct impact on the ability of me and other patients to get i

04.28.14 | By Mark Elliot

Following is a guest blog from Mark Elliot, Executive Director of the Global Intellectual Property Center, where he discusses the importance of intellectual property in global trade agreements and how the U.S. has a full agenda in dealing with IP issues this year.

04.25.14 | By Christian Clymer

Tomorrow, April 26th, is the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, which promotes the important role an active and healthy lifestyle plays in the overall wellbeing of every child. Through various events during the day, the YMCA will emphasize how beneficial it is to stay active throughout the summer.

04.24.14 | By Randy Burkholder

The questions on cost and value are important, but they miss the opportunity to reach consensus, patient-centered solutions. Read the four places the discussions focused on cost often run amiss:


When #PhRMA14 concluded last week, we walked away from our 56th Annual Meeting with new ideas and perspectives to keep pushing the industry forward. The speakers and attendees discussed a number of important topics, and this week we focused on the value of and access to innovative medicines for patients in need.


The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics released a new report titled, “Medicine use and shifting costs of healthcare: A review of the use of medicines in the United States in 2013.” The study assessed the utilization of key health care services


For the last 20 years, the federal 340B has helped biopharmaceutical companies and hospitals partner to share treatments and medicines at a discounted price with those who could not otherwise afford them. The program has helped millions of uninsured and vulnerable patients gain access to the treatments necessary to lead fuller — healthier lives. Unfortunately, the 340B program lacks an effective oversight mechanism to ensure the discounted treatments are reaching their intended recipients.

04.16.14 | By John Castellani

Last Friday marked another successful PhRMA Annual Meeting where the biopharmaceutical and patient community, policy makers, academics, and more, came together to discuss challenges and opportunities facing patients today. The Annual Meeting covered an array of topics all centering on the theme of: How we can convert hopes into cures for our nation’s patients.


As the debate around the cost of Hepatitis C treatment rages on, a Bloomberg article yesterday highlighted other potential Hepatitis C medicines on the horizon and the many benefits they could provide for patients living with this debilitating disease. What’s more, many of the potential new medicines might be able to offer patients fewer unwanted side effects and require less monitoring and follow-up care.


“Mac,” as just about everyone in Portland knows him, is a pharmacist and pharmacy teacher deeply concerned about a dangerous new practice in which several companies appear to be selling non-FDA approved and potentially adulterated medicines to Maine patients.