When Marina Symcox was diagnosed with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) she was given no hope. In the late 1990’s, there were no effective treatments for GIST - a rare and very deadly type of stomach cancer.
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In case you missed it, a front-page story in The New York Times this weekend told the story of Patricia Wanderlich and several other patients who, despite purchasing coverage through the health insurance exchange, or marketplace, have found high, and often combined, deductibles are a major hurdle to accessing needed care.
Thanks in large part to innovative new treatments, now more than ever, patients can live longer, healthier lives. But in order for this to be possible, access to needed medicines is critical.
Another Medicare open enrollment period begins today, Wednesday, October 15, and runs through Sunday, December 7. During open enrollment seniors and individuals with disabilities can evaluate their Medicare plan choices to make sure they’re still right for them, compare options and make changes for the new year. One thing beneficiaries evaluate during open enrollment is their prescription drug coverage. Here are five things you might not know about Medicare Part D:
Insurance jargon can be confusing. Whether you’ve been choosing a health plan annually for years or have coverage for the first time, it can be tricky to figure out exactly what your plan covers and how to prepare for out-of-pocket costs.
Jamie Pires fainted in her doctor’s office when she was told she has Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), a cancer the starts inside the bone marrow. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Even her doctor thought she was in good health. She only went to the doctor because she had some hay fever symptoms.
This week PhRMA released a new report, “Researching Cancer Medicines: Setbacks and Stepping Stones,” which examines the investigational cancer medicines that did not succeed in clinical trials and how these so-called “failures” have helped advance the treatment of this devastating set of diseases.
Mental Illness Awareness Week, which takes place the first full week of October, is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental illness and make progress in eliminating stigmas that discourage people from seeking care and support. In the guest commentary below, Husseini K. Manji, MD, FRCPC, Global Head of Neuroscience for Janssen Research & Development LLC, a Johnson & Johnson Company, addresses the significant toll of mental illness.
Cancer is a devastating diagnosis and it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been touched by the disease. However, given its complexity, the facts about cancer care are often misconstrued.
The biopharmaceutical industry is proud of its track record of developing innovative medicines that have extended and improved the lives of patients suffering from cancer. New cancer medicines have helped cut the overall cancer death rate in the U.S. by 20 percent since its peak in 1991. Since the 1970s, the 5-year survival rate has increased 21 percent for breast cancer, 50 percent for prostate cancer, 36 percent for colon cancer and 54 percent for lung cancer.
My grandmother, better known as Mema, passed away from lung cancer nearly four years ago on December 19, 2010. Exactly 24 hours after my birthday.
For five years, Mema battled valiantly against the disease that took her from us. When she was diagnosed she was told – if she was lucky – she had six months to live. The doctors did not expect much. She had just turned 70 and by the time they found the cancer it had metastasized throughout her body.
Can we meet the challenge of accelerating progress against cancer in an era of increasing pressure for cost containment? At PhRMA we believe the answer is yes; we recognize it won’t be easy; and we know we need to keep the patient at the center of our work.
“I have been alive eight years, with metastatic breast cancer…in part that’s due to modern medicine.”
The words of Dian “CJ” Corneliussen-James should inspire us all and fill us with the hope that through innovation, dedication and great care, we can ultimately defeat cancer. CJ is the first profile in PhRMA’s “I'm Not Average Campaign” but she is so much more than that. She represents the progress we as a society have made in fighting cancer.