The Catalyst

Most Recent Posts

Cancer graphic

If we want to have an honest discussion around cost, we must do so in a way that includes the entire spectrum of cancer care and not focused solely on the cost of cancer medicines.

06.09.14 | By Josh Schafer, MSc. MBA

With the recent conclusion of ASCO, we sat down with Josh Schafer, Astellas’ Vice President of Oncology Marketing Strategy, to get his perspective on the current state of affairs surrounding cancer research.

Path to 21st Century Cures
06.09.14 | By Dr. William "Bill" Chin, M.D.

PhRMA strongly supports the goals of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures initiative that seeks to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of new treatments and potential cures to patients.


Ensuring patients have access to innovative new medicines require collaboration within the biopharmaceutical industry and across the health care ecosystem. With the rapid pace of research and development, pooling resources and brainpower helps identify and utilize the most pertinent information. As a result, cooperation is occurring not only within the private sector, but also with non-profit organizations, academia and the government to more quickly bring treatments to patients in need.

06.06.14 | By Jay Taylor

The current intellectual property (IP) environment in Canada has caused increased friction with its closest allies, particularly in the area of IP rights protections for biopharmaceutical products. By revoking 19 patents since 2005 through questionable decisions, Canadian courts have set a disturbing precedent that risks future investments in cutting-edge R&D projects in innovative industries, and the high-paying jobs that accompany them.

06.05.14 | By Robert Zirkelbach

Our members are diligently working to bring new medicines to patients. To date, these treatments have helped make some of the most devastating diseases, including HIV, manageable conditions. To do the same for cancer, collaboration across the health care ecosystem is necessary.

06.05.14 | By Diane Stephenson, Ph.D.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects up to 1.5 million Americans and without any change, that number is expected to more than double by 2040.

06.04.14 | By Dr. Bill Chin

On June 1, patients around the world participated in a very special celebration, National Cancer Survivors Day. This is a day everyone in remission hopes for, and one those currently in treatment are working so hard to achieve.

In the United States alone, it is estimated there are 14 million people who have faced the challenges of a cancer diagnosis and are winning

06.04.14 | By Salvatore Alesci

The process of translating biomedical discoveries into novel therapies continues to increase in complexity as science and technology rapidly evolve. To ensure timely patient access to safe and effective innovative medical products, it is critical that the science of drug review and evaluation keeps up with rapid advances in drug discovery and development, so that experts across the ecosystem are able to understand, adopt and apply new scientific tools, standards, and approaches in evidence-based decision making processes.

06.03.14 | By Allyson Funk

Ensuring that patients have access to the medicines they need is at the heart of what biopharmaceutical research companies do every day. The Affordable Care Act put in place a new way for Americans to access health insurance coverage and even provides assistance in the form of tax credits and cost-sharing reductions for those who need it most.


Yesterday, ASCO held a panel entitled, “Can We Find Common Ground? Stakeholder Perspectives on Value in Cancer.” At the tail end, a woman stepped to the mike to make an observation to the panelists. Describing herself as a patient and an advocate, she declared that she heard little in the presentations about patient-reported outcomes, particularly in reference to ASCO's value initiative that is in the works.

05.31.14 | By Robert Zirkelbach

In case you missed it, The Hill featured an op-ed by PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani, “Health insurance model must evolve,” to coincide with the start of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’ (ASCO) 50th anniversary conference.


The cost of innovative new medicines to treat devastating diseases such as cancer and Hepatitis C has been a hot discussion topic this week. A critical part of this discussion – the value of these treatments – however, has been overlooked.

05.30.14 | By Sascha Haverfield, Ph.D.

Each patient facing a life-threatening disease lives with the hope that tomorrow will bring a new medicine to extend and improve his or her life.  As a scientist, a new father, and as someone who lost a parent to stage IV lung cancer far too early in life, it is gut-wrenching to admit that modern drug development continues to be a highly challenging and far too often unsuccessful endeavor. 

05.30.14 | By Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D.

Businesses know the impact of poor health and see first hand how some communities are affected more than others. Truly improving health takes time, effort and investment from all of us. With one out of two Americans having at least one chronic condition, the costs of chronic disease are staggering and affect every community, every business, and every person.