The Catalyst

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There was some big news announced in the battle against Alzheimer's disease. The New York Times reports that gene studies are revealing important new insights on how it works. Researchers are looking at five genes that appear to play a significant role in the onset of Alzheimer's.

04.01.11 | By Kate Connors

The New York Times highlights Butler basketball coach (and apparently fairy godfather) Brad Stevens, who left a job in the biopharmaceutical research sector to try his hand at coaching. We love industry employees, but that might have been a pretty good move on his part. Plus, according to the article, "he still discusses developments in the pharmaceutical industry with former co-workers after church."

04.01.11 | By Kate Connors

Rachel Hurley is the Executive Director of the Iowa Biotech Association and a partner of Innovate Iowa, a public-private partnership that includes senior leaders from biotech, academia, business, health and other organizations interested in growing Iowa's bioscience economy with a specific focus on advancing medical innovation.

04.01.11 | By Kate Connors

Perhaps you've seen John Mack's April Fool's post that says he's gotten a copy of PhRMA's "statement" on the Food and Drug Administration's delayed social media guidelines.

Mack's post, which presents a fictitious statement, has made the rounds this morning, underscoring the immediacy of social media.

04.01.11 | By Kate Connors

Recently I wrote about the winner of the PhRMA Foundation Award in Excellence, Bryan l. Roth, PhD, from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.


This story in the LA Times caught my eye today. It talks about how two experimental drugs now being tested have the potential for transforming Hepatitis C - a deadly liver disease - into a more manageable chronic condition.


When the Medicare prescription drug program (Part D) started providing substantial savings to millions of seniors and disabled Americans, AARP publicly stated that "many [seniors] who choose the least expensive Medicare drug plan in their area that covers a


There was good advice in an article in the Washington Post health section. It encouraged readers to get their blood pressure checked to detect hypertension and the potential for heart disease.

03.30.11 | By John Castellani

Wherever I have worked, I've been impressed by colleagues who find the time in their otherwise busy lives to volunteer to help those in need. Their efforts to give back to the community and improve the lives of their neighbors is an inspiration. It reminds us all to take the time and look up from our work-a-day lives and to think about what we might do to help reach out to our neighbors in need and make our community a better place to live.

03.30.11 | By Kate Connors

Today is PhRMA's "Day of Service." We all have a lot on our plates, as always, but we'll be turning off our computers, setting our phones with an away message, changing into jeans, and spending the day giving back to the community.

For this day of service, we'll be going to a local elementary school here in DC to help get their playground ready for spring and to paint healthy living murals in their gymnasium.

03.29.11 | By Kate Connors

Today - as I told you yesterday - PhRMA released the results of an opinion survey of more than 500 physicians regarding their interactions with biopharmaceutical research companies.

I won't rehash the entire results of the survey in this post, as you can read the survey itself if you wish.


Once again, AARP has released a report on the prices of medicines that distorts the reality of the marketplace. This time around, AARP took its same market basket of medicines it has used since 2006 and analyzed solely the prices for brand name drugs, excluding generics entirely.


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03.28.11 | By Kate Connors

Recently, there has been a spate of misleading media coverage about interactions between biopharmaceutical company representatives and healthcare providers.

In various ways, the bulk of this coverage has depicted these relationships in a negative light, one that is both biased and outdated.

I'd like to take a moment here to explain the value of engagement between companies and give a second opinion, so to speak.