Making Medicines Do More – The 2012 PhRMA Annual Meeting

Making Medicines Do More – The 2012 PhRMA Annual Meeting

03.29.12 By John Castellani

The date for PhRMA’s Annual Meeting is fast approaching (April 11-13 in Boston, MA). At these meetings, we speak about the biopharmaceutical research industry with a lot of powerful and exciting words – innovation, value of medicines, job creation, progress, science, partnership and more – but sometimes the passion is lost, hidden under dry numbers and technical jargon.

That must change. This industry and the life-saving medicines it develops are too important to patients, our national economy and our future health. One thing we must do, and do better, is tell our stories. These are the stories of the patients helped by the medicines researched and developed by PhRMA member companies. They are the stories of the scientific breakthroughs and the new health technologies pioneered by PhRMA member company researchers. And, they are the stories of the enormous contribution that America’s biopharmaceutical research industry makes by creating jobs, stimulating the economy and helping communities, states and America grow stronger.

In short, this year’s meeting is appropriately titled "Making Medicines do More," and its goal is to better tell the story of America’s biopharmaceutical research industry.  This means the story of both what has already been accomplished and what the future can hold.

There are great stories out there. Some are already being told on this website. Take a look, for instance, at the inspiring story of Melinda Winner, who suffers from acute arthritis. With help of innovative medicines, Melinda lives a fulfilling life and contributes to her community – Recipe for Hope. Also see It Started with Pancakes, which documents one researcher’s personal experience with Alzheimer’s disease and the hunt to find new treatments for it.

These stories are important because they remind us all that everyone – you, me and the hundreds of thousands of dedicated men and women who work for this industry – have been, are or will one day be a patient. We will all need medical options and choices.  We will all want to know that someone is working on a treatment or even a cure for what ails us or afflicts those we love.

And, because Boston is both a dynamic hub of innovative science as well as home to some of the greatest medical research facilities in the world, we couldn’t have picked a better place to meet and understand the opportunities and challenges we, as an industry, face as the health care and innovation landscape continues to evolve.

I am also excited that this meeting will be one of the most transparent meetings PhRMA has ever held.  We’re making the sessions and speeches available for viewing by the public in real time.  We’re also urging the public to weigh in on all the annual meeting discussions through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and here on The Catalyst.

We want everyone to be part of the dialogue because all of us are in some shape, form or fashion a part of the health care equation.

As the meeting date draws closer, we’ll highlight diverse voices and perspectives on The Catalyst that will provide even greater insight into the many issues and themes that will be discussed.  So please stay tuned.

In the meantime, is there a particular topic you are looking forward to hearing about the most at our annual meeting?  Let us know.


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