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.
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I want to recommend an interesting piece in Salon. Author Mary Elizabeth Williams writes about her participation in a Phase I immunotherapy clinical trial for a Stage 4 melanoma. It is an eyes-open and moving account of her condition, hopes and fears as she recounts her participation in the trial and the first, preliminary results.
Impressive efforts are increasingly underway to bring together biopharmaceutical research companies, world governments and key non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the global fight against often neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
Earlier this month, I wrote about the news that India has gone a full year without a new polio diagnosis - a big step forward to eradicating the disease.
Today, PhRMA announced that we are transferring the future development of our benefit-risk assessment framework to the Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science. As our press release stresses, this move is intended to further the framework - which we developed over the course of six years from an analytical model to a functional pilot program - so that the principles can be more broadly available for use by all stakeholders, from industry to regulators and healthcare providers.
Yesterday, the New York Times' Well blog posted a commentary on DTC advertising. Although its underlying tone was one of skepticism, it did briefly touch on a couple of useful points.
I think it's great that billionaire David Rubenstein has decided to donate half the $15 million needed to repair the damage to the Washington Monument from the earthquake last year. While I'm no David Rubenstein, I do appreciate the importance of giving back to your community, as do my colleagues. The staff at PhRMA have been participating in St. Matthew's Cathedral's annual Adopt-A-Family program for 6 years now. This year we were alarmed by the requests for basic items like dishes and bedding from our 'adopted families'.
In his recent commentary, Merill Goozner of the Fiscal Times looks at the affordability of cancer medicines. Goozner rightly points out that the biopharmaceutical industry is continuing to invest heavily in new treatments for this disease. However, access to treatment for chronic conditions such as cancer is a complex issue and the commentary fails to tell the entire story.
As I've mentioned before, mixed methodologies is an instant triple shot of espresso for me - I love the way humanities can influence the sciences, and the other way around.
President Obama's State of the Union address and its focus on jobs comes at a time when America's biopharmaceutical research sector is developing nearly 3,000 medicines and bringing new treatment options to patients in need today -- all while supporting high-value jobs. Remarkable innovation is underway. Good American jobs are being created. But this progress can't continue if policies don't embrace the work (see PhRMA President John Castellani's statement on Tuesday night's SOTU).
Like millions of other Americans, I'll be watching the president and Governor Daniels offer their ideas for helping to address our country's biggest challenges. As we eagerly anticipate the speeches, I will be especially focused on the framework they present for the future of high-quality health care and, specifically, how sound public policies can strengthen our collective ability to fight disease and keep Americans healthy.
A recent editorial in the Cherokee Chronicle Times highlights the importance of new medicines for patients. Innovative prescription medicines and treatments are saving lives and giving patients the opportunity for a healthier future. However, success requires immense resources - the best scientific minds, highly sophisticated technology and complex project management. It also takes persistence and, sometimes, luck.
Over the weekend, I watched a documentary called Objectified, about industrial design and the people who work in the field.
Intended to make us think about the world around us and the products that fill it, the film was interesting and well-made. One segment was especially note-worthy: the vegetable peeler.
I am very much looking forward to hearing what President Obama has to say during his annual State of the Union (SOTU) address tomorrow night. This year's address will be particularly interesting due to the fact that it is an election year and there are a lot of important issues that will most likely be addressed, including the state of the economy and jobs.