The Catalyst

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This week marks the beginning of the 2011 hurricane season. Experts are predicting one of the strongest seasons on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in its 2011 hurricane season forecast, predicts 12-18 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, with three to six becoming serious enough to be classified as major hurricanes.


Check out this op-ed by Illinois Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Government Affairs Todd Maisch in the Chicago Sun-Times. Maisch examines how a strong biopharmaceutical research sector can help grow the state's economy.

05.31.11 | By Kate Connors

Over the weekend, The Washington Post ran an op-ed by Anthony Fauci, M.D., the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, and one of the earliest pioneers in the field of HIV/AIDS research.


There's an interesting op-ed today in the Durham (NC) Herald Sun. Chuck Hayes, President of the Research Triangle Partnership looks at public policies needed to support innovation in North Carolina. Check it out, it's worth a look.


Over the last few weeks, Medicare has been front and center in the news. Elections and congressional votes have only reaffirmed that the program is highly regarded by seniors and the electorate.

A recent poll details this sentiment and shows voters will not react kindly to proposals that cut the Medicare program. The results are laid out in this Politico story.


There's a good piece over at Pharma Times On-line reminding us all of the work and giving by biopharmaceutical research companies to help the victims of the tsunami in Japan. The article notes that these critical contributions by medicine-makers are sometimes overlooked, with credit going to organizations and agencies providing direct services.


I was intrigued by a Reuters article I saw talking about General Electric and its renewed commitment to investing in research and development. The company clearly views increasing investment in R&D as the pathway to a secure future.

05.24.11 | By Kate Connors

Today is World MS Day, a day intended to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis and to create a stronger network among the more than 2,000,000 patients around the world who live with this debilitating disease.

To help with the goal of raising awareness, PhRMA produced a brief, informative video featuring a multiple sclerosis expert, Sanofi's Associate Vice President and Head of the Multiple Sclerosis Distinct Project Unit Anita Burrell.

05.24.11 | By Kate Connors

Today, the Joint Economic Committee is convening a hearing to discuss life-sciences jobs and innovation.

We hope that this hearing sheds light on the important economic role that our sector plays in America's economy, and we hope that it leads to recognition that the sector is worth promoting for future growth.

To that end, PhRMA's President and CEO John J. Castellani and Chairman of the Board and Sanofi CEO Christopher A. Viehbacher wrote an op-ed for The Hill about their hopes for the hearing.


An interesting article in the New York Times health section describes a series of interesting studies that suggest that heart health at middle age is a good indicator of potential risk for future heart disease.

05.20.11 | By Kate Connors

Today, PhRMA released our new overview of the effect that medical advances have had on Americans, finding that new medicines have yielded significant progress in the battle against disease.


Over at Congress Blog today, there is a good piece from Eli Lilly Chairman, president and CEO, John C. Lechleiter on the importance of good trade policies that stimulate innovation.

05.19.11 | By Kate Connors

On Wednesday, Jerry Lewis announced that this year, he will retire as host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's annual telethon - a position he has filled for 45 years.


Bill Gates and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are in the news again, appealing for a "decade of vaccines" to help strengthen global immunization programs. Their goal is to save an additional 4 million lives by 2015 and 10 million by 2020.

05.17.11 | By Kate Connors

A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - though not an easy read, admittedly - gives hope to some smokers by finding that a genetic variant may make it easier to quit smoking (Time translates it for those who may want a more-readable version).