The Catalyst

Most Recent Posts

10.05.14 | By Josephine Martin

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.

10.04.14 | By Holly Campbell

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.

10.03.14 | By Randy Burkholder

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.

10.03.14 | By Josephine Martin

“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.

10.02.14 | By Stephanie Fischer

One of the topics of discussion at the recent Rare Patient Advocacy Summit hosted by Global Genes was the role of patients in healthcare.  A statement that clearly resonated with the audience, from Roni Zeiger of Smart Patients, was that patients are not passive recipients of care and in clinical trials, but rather are co-collaborators. 

access better coverage
10.01.14 | By Allyson Funk

Four in five American adults take at least one medication, and more than one in four take five medicines or more. For patients to live longer, healthier lives, being able to access needed treatments is critical. Not to mention, adhering to treatment regimens can help prevent costly and burdensome complications down the road.

10.01.14 | By Robert Zirkelbach

Helping to ensure patients have access to the medicines they need is a top priority for the biopharmaceutical industry. Over the past 15 years, biopharmaceutical companies have had more than 400 new medicines approved to treat patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other debilitating diseases. These medicines are transforming to lives of patients, enabling them to live longer, healthier lives, spend more time with their families, and pursue their passions.

09.29.14 | By Allyson Funk

A growing body of evidence shows increased utilization of medicines reduces spending on other medical services. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) changed their methodology to account for the cost savings that can be achieved when beneficiaries adhere to their medicines. The CBO now estimates, “a one percent increase in the number of prescriptions filled by beneficiaries would cause Medicare’s spending on medical services to fall by roughly one-fifth of one percent.”

09.29.14 | By Jay Taylor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election just a few short months ago was greeted with renewed hope by India and people of Indian descent and heritage throughout the world. And judging by the expected crowds who will be welcoming him to the United States this weekend, the honeymoon period continues. On Sunday, Mr.

09.29.14 | By Robert Zirkelbach

It’s not every day that a new treatment becomes available that is able to cure 90 percent of the patients. Yet that is exactly what has happened with new and forthcoming medicines to treat hepatitis C.


Helping patients understand and access high quality health care options is a central tenet of our industry. Today, more than ever, it’s essential that every member of the health care ecosystem move forward with this guiding objective in mind.

09.26.14 | By Robert Zirkelbach

As PhRMA’s Kaelan Hollon noted, “This year’s PhRMA national survey is a reminder to everyone

09.22.14 | By Allyson Funk

Have you ever been confused by insurance jargon? What’s a deductible? A copay? When and how do they apply? You’re not alone. According to a national survey by the Department of Education about health literacy, just more than 1 in 10 American adults understand how to navigate medical care and health insurance.


According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 1 in 4 American adults have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, yet many know very little about the disease.


There has been a marked increase in media attention on the health care landscape over the past year. Some of these stories got it right, while others were often confusing or misleading.