The Catalyst

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I want to bring to your attention an interesting story about how the role of patients and patient support organizations are coming to play a bigger role in global health decision-making.


Hoosiers Work for Health, the Indiana chapter of We Work for Health held an event in Southern Indiana earlier this week calling attention to both the contribution that the biosciences make to Indiana's economy and the importance of creating an economic and investment environment in Indiana that promotes growth in the life sciences sector.

05.13.11 | By Kate Connors

Healthcare providers know that no two patients are alike. And just as the saying goes that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, their bodies (and the ways in which they require care) are often worlds apart.

For example, heart attacks plague both genders, but the symptoms often vary. Women often metabolize medicines differently from men in ways that aren't explained simply by differences in body sizes. They are also more prone to diseases like multiple sclerosis, lupus, migraines, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia.


Down in Louisiana, where record flooding is becoming a real threat, Governor Bobby Jindal is recommending that residents who may have to evacuate their homes and communities remember to write down their prescription medicines before they leave their homes.


Battelle, the world's largest independent research organization, is out with a new report on the economic impact of the human genome project. The headline from the report is that the "$3.8 billion investment in the Human Genome Project drove $796 billion in economic impact creating 310,000 jobs and launching the genomic revolution."

The four main conclusions reached in the Battelle study are:


CBS Morning News ran a good piece on the growing problem of counterfeit drugs. It's worth taking a look at. And for more information on the counterfeit drugs epidemic, visit

05.11.11 | By Kate Connors

Today was the launch of the Script Your Future campaign, an effort to encourage patients living with chronic diseases to better manage their conditions by taking their medicines as directed.

According to the campaign's Web site, "Understanding your condition and taking your medicine correctly are important steps toward a longer, healthier life. This campaign can help you with tools to manage your medicines."


A piece over at Everyday Health has some good, common sense tips for women concerned about heart disease.

05.09.11 | By Kate Connors

Last Wednesday, I mentioned a Boston Globe article about biopharmaceutical research companies and the emphasis on studying medicines in specific populations, for rare conditions, and more.

In that post, I provided some examples of PhRMA's Medicines in Development Reports, which are a wealth of just this sort of information.


I've got a couple of more good pieces I want to pass along today.

05.06.11 | By Kate Connors

Tonight, the Society for Women's Health Research is hosting an event to raise awareness about the health needs of women who have served in the armed forces.

"Beyond the Camouflage: Uncovering the Health Needs of Women Veterans" will focus on - and celebrate - the nearly 2 million women veterans and 230,000 women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan."

05.06.11 | By Kate Connors

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association raises notable points about the current presence of comparative effectiveness research (CER) in the health care system.

Excluding orphan drugs and first-in-class medicines, a majority of new medicines (defined as new molecular entities) approved by the FDA between 2000 and 2010 had CER data available at the time of approval.

05.05.11 | By Kate Connors

Andrew Sullivan, in The Daily Beast, directed my attention to an opinion piece on The New York Times's Opinionator blog about "the science gap" - in other words, how evolving science is changing the research landscape. Sullivan featured a quote from Stanford University's Dr.


With the debate over the future of Medicare heating up, there are two interesting recent opinion pieces worth taking a look at.

The first by Former HHS Secretary and Governor of Wisconsin Tommy Thompson and Donald Crand, President & CEO of the California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG) in the Huffington Post.

05.04.11 | By Kate Connors

An article in today's Boston Globe refers to biopharmaceutical research companies "dedicating more resources to rare disorders, illnesses that are prevalent in the developing world, and medical conditions that affect minority populations in rich countries."