The Catalyst

Most Recent Posts

06.17.14 | By Randy Burkholder

A recent Roundtable in Washington D.C. underscored why, with the growing focus on value-based payment in health care, it’s more important than ever to focus on the patient. We can’t advance patient-centered care if we aren’t measuring and incentivizing what matters to patients. We have begun to see this shift in the premarket arena via patient-focused drug development and in comparative effectiveness research at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.


Over the last three years, I have had two c-sections – one for the birth of my 3-year old daughter and the other for the birth of my six-month old twins.  Fortunately, I have good health insurance coverage through my employer and didn’t have to pay a lot out of pocket for these necessary procedures. The more than $20,000 price tag for the single procedure was almost fully covered and I was happy that I could focus all of my attention on my newborn babies rather than figure out how I’m going to pay my  bills.

06.14.14 | By Sascha Haverfield

The development of innovative, safe, and effective medicines for serious or life-threatening diseases represents an urgent and unique challenge that requires special attention.


For our nation’s most vulnerable patients, access to necessary medicines to treat and even cure the diseases they are battling every day is critical. Improved patient health relies on the innovative treatments, and this week we focused on the importance of ensuring those medicines make it into the hands of patients in need.

06.12.14 | By John Castellani

Keeping the spirit of innovation alive in the oncology field is paramount to future scientific advances and finding cures. An essential element of innovation is collaboration. Relevant stakeholders coming together and pooling collective knowledge together can ignite the fire that becomes the next big thing to improve the lives of cancer patients.

06.12.14 | By Robert Zirkelbach

PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani recently joined several patient organizations to raise concerns about patients’ access to medicines in the new health insurance exchanges. They discussed findings from a new report by Avalere, commissioned by PhRMA, which shows that many patients, particularly those with chronic disease, are facing exorbitant out-of-pocket costs to access the prescription medicines they need to manage their conditions.

06.12.14 | By Robert Zirkelbach

All patients should have access to the medicines they need to manage their diseases, enabling them to live fuller, healthier, more productive lives. Unfortunately, recently-released data paints a very troubling picture of patients’ access to medicines in the new health insurance exchanges.  Too often patients are being forced to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket costs for live-saving medicines that not only improve patients’ health and quality of life, but help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, ER visits, and costly medical procedures.

06.11.14 | By John Rice

As you read this, 30 outstanding middle school students from across the nation are busy studying amino acids, chromatography, and other scientific concepts in preparation for the National You Be The Chemist Challenge®—the final stage of the Chemical Educational Foundation’s® (CEF’s) exciting academic contest for grade 5 – 8 students.

06.11.14 | By Allyson Funk

This morning at the National Press Club, PhRMA CEO John J. Castellani joined patient groups to release new research from Avalere Health.

06.11.14 | By John Castellani

For millions of cancer patients and many others suffering from a chronic disease, access to new innovative treatments is critical. As an industry, we strongly believe that all patients should have access to the medicines they need to live long and healthy lives. Equally important, as discussions around health care costs continue, we must ensure that patients remain at the center of everything we do.

Cancer graphic

If we want to have an honest discussion around cost, we must do so in a way that includes the entire spectrum of cancer care and not focused solely on the cost of cancer medicines.

06.09.14 | By Josh Schafer, MSc. MBA

With the recent conclusion of ASCO, we sat down with Josh Schafer, Astellas’ Vice President of Oncology Marketing Strategy, to get his perspective on the current state of affairs surrounding cancer research.

Path to 21st Century Cures
06.09.14 | By Dr. Bill Chin

PhRMA strongly supports the goals of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures initiative that seeks to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of new treatments and potential cures to patients.


Ensuring patients have access to innovative new medicines require collaboration within the biopharmaceutical industry and across the health care ecosystem. With the rapid pace of research and development, pooling resources and brainpower helps identify and utilize the most pertinent information. As a result, cooperation is occurring not only within the private sector, but also with non-profit organizations, academia and the government to more quickly bring treatments to patients in need.

06.06.14 | By Jay Taylor

The current intellectual property (IP) environment in Canada has caused increased friction with its closest allies, particularly in the area of IP rights protections for biopharmaceutical products. By revoking 19 patents since 2005 through questionable decisions, Canadian courts have set a disturbing precedent that risks future investments in cutting-edge R&D projects in innovative industries, and the high-paying jobs that accompany them.