There was an interesting piece in today's New York Times' science section looking back on the historic uses and attitudes toward vaccines at the time of the founding of our country. Benjamin Franklin, after the sad loss of one of his children, John Adams and George Washington were all advocates of vaccination as a way to fight the devastating effects of diseases like small pox.
The theme to Rare Disease Day 2011 was "Rare But Equal."
I glossed over that at first when I saw it, but the more I thought about it, the more chilling it is.
It suggests that patients with rare diseases - which, by definition, affect fewer than 200,000 (though roughly 80 percent are much smaller, affecting fewer than 6,000 patients in the U.S) - feel that they may be seen or treated less-than-equal to patients suffering from more-common illnesses.
Today is Rare Disease Day, a day meant to raise awareness of the 25 million Americans living with diseases that are often little-known and often, unfortunately, undertreated.
There was a good and interesting OpEd in yesterday's Indianapolis Star that's worth a look. In a nut shell, it talks about what is happening in Indiana where an alliance of business, labor and public policy leaders are working together to strengthen the bioscience sector in the state. One of the things that the piece recognizes is that the biosciences can be a great engine for creating jobs.
Last year, a high-profile theft of many millions of dollars worth of prescription medicines added a dose of a drama to the biopharmaceutical sector - one that we'd like to avoid. Unfortunately, that theft wasn't the first of its kind (though it was certainly one of the largest).
America's biopharmaceutical research companies work hard with other members of the supply chain, like distributors and pharmacies, to ensure its security - and with it, patient safety.
With so much to write about last week, I managed to miss a particularly interesting article on The New York Times Prescriptions blog about a survey regarding how patients kept up with their wellness during the recession.
Over the weekend, The Boston Globe ran an article that included a turn of phrase that I thought was a keeper: "the whole value chain of innovation."
What a great way to describe the wide range of benefits provided by a strong biopharmaceutical research sector, from jobs to tax revenues to the development of new medicines.
In the short time that we've been blogging, we've already talked about the coming public health Tsunami threatening America from Alzheimer's disease.
Civil justice reform. The words don't come trippingly off the tongue. I was trained as a lawyer, and its hard for me to muster much excitement for the topic.
We've done a lot of writing this week about issues pertaining to the biopharmaceutical sector, but we're just one small chunk of health care. A lot of unrelated articles have caught our eyes this week, and we think they're worth sharing with you.
This week, Disruptive Women in Health Care unveiled a new eBook entitled, Innovation Nation: Recognizing the Benefits of Innovation in Health Care. This compilation of blog posts written by several esteemed women in the health care sector is an interesting read. Individually and collectively, their message is clear: Innovation is crucial to the well-being of our health care system.
Perhaps you have seen an especially moving column on Forbes's Web site that is getting a lot of attention - and rightfully so. It's going to run in their paper issue next week, but the way it's spreading around the Web like wildfire, I have a feeling everyone will have seen it by then.
PhRMA, like nearly every workplace in America, employs men and women who have proudly served this nation in its armed forces and who remain active in the reserves.
Last week we talked a bit about how improved adherence can lead to better health and lower overall healthcare costs.
Today, NPR Blog is addressing the issue, reporting that only half of Americans take their prescription medicines as directed. They also share some recommendations from Express Scripts that are worth checking out.
I just addressed the Pharma IQ conference, Winning the War Against Counterfeiters, here in Amsterdam.
On Friday, Health Affairs Blog featured a post by health policy attorney Paul Kim that brought to light the overwhelming lack of attention on the life sciences when discussing innovation in America's policy arena.
We at PhRMA often talk about the drug development process: it typically starts with many thousands of compounds in the discovery phase, whittled down to five that make it to clinical trials, one of which will eventually gain FDA approval - and only two out of those 10 will ever recoup the average investment in R&D required to develop the drug and secure that regulatory approval.
We talk about how long it takes and how expensive the R&D process is - an average of $1.3 billion and 10 to 15 years.