The Catalyst

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11.17.11 | By Preet Bilinski
Previously on the Catalyst, we shared a teaser on the National Parkinson Foundation 'Moving Day', an event to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson's disease.
A new IMS report released Monday offers suggestions for helping alleviate drug shortages, including an Early Warning System.
With Thanksgiving Day approaching, many families are beginning to prepare for their annual turkey feast and reflect on all of the things they are grateful for. Many families eagerly await the arrival of this holiday to celebrate with close friends and family, but for others it can be a difficult time, especially if a loved one is in poor health.
11.15.11 | By Greg Lopes
This week, I had a chance to catch up with Scott Williams at the Men's Health Network about the work that they do to promote health and prevention and how they believe that Medicare Part D is helping them play a role in meeting that goal. Read our chat below. Scott, please tell me a bit more about your organization.
There's an interesting interview with PhRMA President & CEO John Castellani in the most recent edition of Modern Pharmaceuticals -- a magazine covering India's growing biopharmaceutical sector. The interview covers a wide range of issues including India's need to address access to health, efforts to grow its innovative biopharmaceutical sector and the importance of protecting intellectual property rights. Check it out.
11.14.11 | By Kate Connors
In The New York Times Prescriptions blog today, writer Reed Abelson looks at a study in the New England Journal of Medicine finding that co-pays for prescription medicines can discourage patients from adhering to their prescribed treatment regimens.
The 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) took place over the last couple of days in Hawaii. There was a lot of discussion about how to improve trade and economic opportunities among Pacific-rim countries. For technology-based businesses - like America's biopharmaceutical research companies - securing strong protections for their intellectual property (IP) rights is a key factor in their ability to successfully engage in business and trade throughout the region.
11.11.11 | By Kate Connors
In today's Washington Post, Michael Gerson writes about the promise of the current war on AIDS: "the end of the global AIDS epidemic is suddenly, unexpectedly, within sight."
I seem to spend a lot of time writing about how medicine is constantly changing as we understand more and more about health, biology and as we develop better evidence about what works best in the treatment or prevention of disease or other adverse health conditions.
Making sure that patients have access to the medicines they need is - or should be - the top priority of any modern healthcare system. But recent government steps in Turkey will likely prevent patients from getting access to critical medicines.
11.08.11 | By Preet Bilinski

Recently, PhRMA attended the first "moving day" in the Capital Area and I'm not referring to packing boxes and moving tape. The National Parkinson's Foundation held its inaugural Moving Day at the Washington Nationals Ball Park. The event included a fundraiser walk, a Movement Pavilion, music and dancing.

Here at The Catalyst, we write a lot about policies and proposals to improve healthcare and how best to improve access to medicines. Sometimes, however, it is good to be reminded of why America's biopharmaceutical research companies do what they do: help patients battle disease.
Over at the New York Times opinion page, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel has an interesting on-line commentary on healthcare spending and proposals to control it. Dr. Emanuel looks at where policy proponents on both sides of the political aisle would go to make cuts and has some interesting observations about the weaknesses of various proposals.
I want to recommend PhRMA President John Castellani's op/ed on the global battle against HIV/AIDS in today's The Hill newspaper. The upshot is the work being done by biopharmaceutical research companies around the world to help improve global access to medicines to fight HIV/AIDS. In part, Mr. Castellani writes:
Drug shortages have been in the news quite a bit lately, and there have been some major developments in that arena this week. President Obama just signed an Executive Order yesterday which speaks directly to this critically important issue, and it's worth taking a few minutes to describe what the Order will do.