The Catalyst

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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.


If you've been reading the Catalyst recently, you know we've greatly expanded our pool of authors and the new contributors have brought some amazing insights and perspectives to the many important issues we work on in the biopharmaceutical sector.

It is my good fortune to work with these experts every day. I learn from them and I hope you are as well.

For example:

01.20.12 | By Preet Bilinski

A child born today can expect to live 30 years longer than a child born a century ago; that difference represents practically my entire life. Children may not realize the incredible progress that has been made, but their parents will. We all laugh at the, 'when I was your age, I had to walk 3 miles up hill in the snow with no shoes' comparisons, but things have changed.


Matt Herper's Forbes post yesterday highlights an issue we've been in an uproar over for years now: the quickly growing problem of the antibiotics pipeline. Bacteria are evolving faster than companies can bring new antibiotics to market, which leads to problems like upticks in MRSA infections and other superbugs.


I'm a little bit obsessed with layman's astronomy - I downloaded NASA's phone app within hours of getting my new Smartphone and excitedly check the news for Higgs-Boson updates. The geek in me gets a toe-tingle when unrelated fields of research interact with one another and they renovate each other's thinking; this TEDx talk about interactions between astronomers and neurologists is a fascinating example.

01.18.12 | By Kate Connors

It's no secret that some patients across the country have faced drug shortages, and this is an issue that we take very seriously. Unfortunately, it is not a problem that is easily remedied.


For a while now I've intended to use my little Nike tracking device that can be attached to my running shoe and connected to my Nano. Big-brother-is-watching-me paranoia aside, it would be a great monitoring tool as I "train" for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler (though less effective on a treadmill).

01.17.12 | By Kate Connors

There's a buzz going on today, caused by an article in The New York Times about government oversight of biopharmaceutical research company payments to physicians. These payments, as our web site's sales and marketing page explains, are compensation for important educational and research services provided by expert physicians.

01.13.12 | By Kate Connors

This morning, I was speaking with fellow blog contributor Jeff Trewhitt - who himself credits a medicine with saving his life when he was diagnosed with a very rare cancer - about how the biopharmaceutical sector is seen as not being innovative anymore.

As Jeff pointed out, that view is wrong - in reality, companies are more innovative than ever before.

01.12.12 | By Preet Bilinski

Children are not "small adults" when it comes to medicine, a fact pointed out in a recent article in NIH's Winter edition of Medline Magazine. Parents want nothing but the best for their children and previously that was hard to determine when it came to medicines. Historically, many FDA-approved drugs had not been studied in pediatric populations, resulting in inadequate or unavailable information on dosing, safety, efficacy and side effects.

01.12.12 | By Kate Connors

According to an Associated Press article in the Washington Post that caught my eye today, India has reached a remarkable - and admittedly surprising - milestone: one full year without any new diagnoses of polio.

01.11.12 | By Kate Connors

Today I'm pleased to introduce to Catalyst readers PhRMA's new vice president of scientific affairs, Dr. Salvatore Alesci. Dr. Alesci has worked in research at the government level, for the National Institutes of Health, as well as for several biopharmaceutical research companies. Today, I sat down with Dr. Alesci to ask him a few questions about his experiences and his thoughts about the future of R&D.

How did you get into the field of biopharmaceutical research and development?


A steady stream of state legislatures is coming back into session throughout the month, and considering that most states have budget shortfalls, Medicaid is likely to emerge as a popular target for cuts.

01.10.12 | By Greg Lopes

Yesterday, the government released its annual report on how much we're spending as a country on health care goods and services. Formally known as the National Health Expenditure Accounts, the government research shows a continued rate of historically low spending growth for retail prescription medicines.

01.09.12 | By Kate Connors

I hate cancer. I have too many friends and loved ones battling this awful disease right now - though, admittedly, even one is one too many.

Fortunately, as of very recently, one of those friends is winning her fight.