The Catalyst

Most Recent Posts

02.29.12 | By John Castellani

Today is international Rare Disease Day, an event established to support the millions of people around the world affected by rare diseases. This year's focus is on solidarity and the need for collaboration in the field.

02.28.12 | By Jack Cox

Today, we have a guest post from Jack Cox, Senior Director of Media Relations for Sanofi US. Below, Jack discusses how the times are changing with regard to how pharmaceutical companies communicate online.


There were a couple of recent posts on vaccines and vaccination worth a look. One focuses on the future and the prospects for the development of a "universal" vaccine to control the flu and reduce the potential for pandemics. The second points out that unvaccinated children still pose a potential threat to vaccinated children.


An old saying, "A penny for your thoughts?" comes to mind as the Administration continues its call to action to help spur innovation in America. As part of this effort, the federal government is awarding prizes to creative thinkers and problem solvers who come up with inventions that help address the many challenges we face as a society.


Prevention is important in healthcare, and just how important is becoming clearer all the time. Today, in the New York Times there was a story underscoring how important preventative medicine is - and how successful. The Times reported on a newly released New England Journal of Medicine study - subscription only - of the long-term benefits of colonoscopies.

02.21.12 | By John Castellani

Coming to work at PhRMA a year and a half ago required a bit of a crash course in the incredibly complex and always evolving biopharmaceutical research sector.

02.20.12 | By Kate Connors

Late Friday afternoon, PhRMA submitted our comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services about the agency's proposed rule for implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine provision of the Affordable Care Act.


Take a look at John Allen Paulos' recent opinion piece in the February 13 New York Times. In Why Don't Americans Elect More Scientists, Paulos looks at the lack of scientists and trained experts serving in Congress and the highest levels of American government vs.


To help keep Catalyst readers well-informed with the latest news, I want to bring to your attention that a fake cancer drug is circulating in the U.S. drug supply system. According to press reports, the maker of the drug is not yet aware of how the counterfeit medicine got in the supply and where it originated from.

02.14.12 | By Kate Connors

In an op-ed published today in the Wall Street Journal, former FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach writes that America is "on the cusp of a revolution in health care," with the potential for unimaginable advances in the future - but with challenges that might hinder that progress.


This is for the foodies out there...

Ok, so it is pretty well established that innovative medicines have dramatically changed and improved healthcare over the last 50 years. But we always need to keep in mind that medicines are but one piece of the healthcare puzzle and that nutrition, genetics, life-style, access to treatment, adherence to treatments - among other factors - also play an important role in achieving and maintaining good health. I did mention nutrition, didn't I?


As you all know, one of PhRMA's main purposes is to advocate for policies that help foster the discovery of new medicines for patients. In doing so, we often slip into the inside-the-beltway vernacular of legislation, guidances and rulemakings, backing up our positions with stats, scores and citations. All of which can sometimes be a bit impersonal (though less so in The Catalyst).

And then there are times when these policies and laws really hit home.

02.10.12 | By Kate Connors

A few days ago, I missed an op-ed in the Washington Times that I just came across today - and I'm glad I did.

In recent years, we have seen both the advent of online health information and an increase in use of health IT. These tools have dramatically improved the ability of healthcare stakeholders, including patients, to communicate with each other and to share valuable information.


I really never had the interest to live in California until my husband and I visited the Golden State a few years ago. It wasn't until our drive up Route 1 from Santa Barbara to San Francisco did I change my mind. Driving up the Pacific Coast Highway was literally a life-changing experience. We'd often pull over to the side of the road to take in the beautiful scenery - the ocean, the rolling hills and the sea lions (not to mention the great vineyards). Oh, how I miss thee!

02.09.12 | By Kate Connors

This week's White House Science Fair rightly honored scientific achievement by inviting some remarkable young students to demonstrate the advances that they have made.

Sugar packets that dissolve in hot water, avoiding waste? Why didn't I think of that? Robots that operate like Skype, so grandchildren can even more closely communicate with their distant grandparents? Imagine what that would mean to families.