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.
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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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The PhRMA Foundation recently announced its 2012 award recipients and one, Lindsay Garvin, is right in our backyard from the George Washington University's School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She is a doctoral candidate pursuing a Ph.D.
The White House today unveiled new efforts to help fight Alzheimer' disease, including providing additional funding for research, caregiver support and provider education.
In the coming weeks and months, we're hoping to have some contributions to The Catalyst by PhRMA President and CEO John Castellani. Some of them may be quick interviews with me, and some may be thoughts that he wants to put down on paper.
To that end, I'd like to hear what our Catalyst readers would like to hear John discuss. Leave your comments below or Tweet me @KateAtPhRMA.
If not, don't worry: you are not alone. However, considering that more than 13 million Americans suffer from the disease and an additional 12 million likely have it without knowing it, it's time to learn.