The Catalyst

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09.14.11 | By Kate Connors

My PhRMA colleague, Kendra Martello, was up on the Hill today, helping the U.S. Senate HELP Committee better understand what can be done to strengthen the medicine supply chain and make it even more secure (read our testimony and statement). See what she had to say.

We've come a long way in the fight against any number of diseases over the last 50 years.
09.13.11 | By Erin Mullen
I got a chance to see Contagion over the weekend and I have to say I liked it. As an emergency response professional with a medical background, I watched it with a critical eye to see how they portrayed how a real pandemic might unfold.
Leave it to a Stephen Colbert piece to tickle my funny bone this morning.
09.07.11 | By Kate Connors

I remember one newspaper column from nearly a year ago that has stuck with me: a physician boasting about his refusal to engage with biopharmaceutical research companies. He was proud of his decision, but he went so far as to confess that he doesn't always know about new medicines reaching the market.

I wonder how the patients he treated would have felt to hear that.

09.01.11 | By Kate Connors

Today, the FDA published the PDUFA-V performance goals letter, detailing the agreement that resulted from many months of technical negotiations between the biopharmaceutical industry and FDA, with unprecedented input from a variety of stakeholders, including patients and medical provider groups.


Take a look at Thomas Capone's oped "Medicare D Change N.J. Can Ill Afford" at It does a good job at putting the potential consequences of proposed Medicare drug benefit changes into perspective.

08.31.11 | By Kate Connors

Last week, we directed your attention to a settlement Google made with the Department of Justice, in which Google forfeited the money they'd made accepting ads from online Canadian pharmacies.

By opening America's doors to potential counterfeit prescription medicines, this practice put patients in the U.S. in danger.

08.30.11 | By Kate Connors
As part of our ongoing blog series on Medicare Part D, The Catalyst caught up with former four-term Wisconsin Governor and former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson. The Catalyst: Governor, you were HHS Secretary when Medicare Part D was enacted by Congress in 2003. If you would, tell about your early experience with the program.

I saw this story on Rx Response on Miami's It talks about how Rx Respoonse was one of the important "lessons learned" from Hurricane Katrina. It's worth a look.

08.29.11 | By Kate Connors

Just over 30 years ago was the first time that a medical journal mentioned the disease we now know as HIV/AIDS. Just three years later, researcher Marty St.

08.26.11 | By Kate Connors

Since launching The Catalyst earlier this year, we've covered a number of economic, health and policy issues that, regardless of outcome, stand to impact millions worldwide. In our first post, we made the point that none of us have all the answers, which makes it especially critical that we hear from a range of experts, thought leaders and Catalyst readers to get to the bottom of key issues.


Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Google had agreed to forfeit $500 million generated by on-line advertising and prescription drug sales by Canadian on-line pharmacies. Critically, the DOJ settlement found that the sales of these questionable imported medicines put patients and consumers at risk and violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Controlled Substances Act.


If you've not already done so, I highly recommend you take a look at the new PhRMA video highlighting one woman's efforts to live with and overcome arthritis. Melinda Winner's story is inspirational, as is her fight against arthritis and zest for living her life to the fullest. What's important to remember is that the challenges she faces daily - and how she copes with the disease - are not unique. Ms. Winner's story is just one of the many stories of patients and their families finding ways to live with disease.


On Monday, I wrote on the importance of being prepared for an emergency. I did so thinking of Hurricane Irene. We're expecting some contact with Irene as it rolls up the East Coast, so I thought it was a good time to remind everyone of the general value of emergency preparedness.