The Catalyst

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Kate noted yesterday that we live in a global community. Watching the terrible toll of the earthquake in Japan today really brings that home. Needless to say, my thoughts and prayers - like everyone's at PhRMA -- go out to the victims.

03.11.11 | By Kate Connors

Yesterday on CNN, anchor Ali Velshi @alivelshi referred to the medical innovations that save American lives every day.

That was still ringing in my ears when I came across an article about a new study conducted by the CDC and the National Cancer Institute finding that there were 11.7 million cancer survivors alive in the U.S. in 2007. That's almost 12 million people who battled cancer and won!


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced it will make $100 million available to states so that they can offer incentives to Medicaid enrollees who adopt healthy lifestyles such as qu

03.10.11 | By Kate Connors

Yesterday PhRMA was honored to be recognized by The Rotary Foundation for our support of their work on polio eradication and health check-up and screening camps.


Lupus is a chronic, painful autoimmune deficiency afflicting somewhere around 1.5 million Americans. For the first time in 50 years, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment for the disease.

03.09.11 | By John Castellani

Visitors who walk among the mighty redwoods in California are dwarfed by the towering giants, anchors of thriving ecosystems. Imagine turning back the clock to glimpse those forests when the massive trees were mere saplings.


A story in Medical News Today points out where the greatest incidences of diabetes are in the U.S. It paints a telling demographic picture of diabetes and how it is increasingly a major health issue. But it also keeps us coming back to a topic we talk about frequently - the cost of chronic conditions like diabetes to both patients and the economy.

03.09.11 | By Kate Connors

Last night, after weeks of debate and years of work and dialogue, the Senate passed Senator Patrick Leahy's patent reform bill.

Of course, the work still isn't done. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, the House will act on a bill that mirrors Senator Leahy's in its commitment to modernizing the patent system while maintaining the rights of patent owners.


Check out the Huffington Post blog by PhRMA President & CEO John Castellani and, Gregg LaPointe, CEO of Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


Duff Wilson over at the New York Times has an interesting and, as he says, sobering look at some of the challenges facing America's biopharmaceutical research sector in the years ahead.


The oped by John Castellani, PhRMA's President and CEO, and Chris Molineaux, President of Pennsylvania BIO, in the March 4 Patriot News in Pennsylvania is worth a look. Some key passages:


Derek Gregg, chairman of the Bioscience Association of West Virginia and CEO of Vandalia Research, had a great oped in the Charleston (VA) Gazette. Mr. Gregg is excited by the opportunities that the biosciences and biopharmaceutical research are starting to provide for the people of West Virginia. He clearly understands the potential to both help save lives and create good jobs in West Virginia:

03.04.11 | By Kate Connors

A column in The Boston Globe today tells the exciting story about a local company that is reporting some very positive results from its development program for a medicine to treat cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare disease that affects about 30,000 Americans. Unlike current therapies for CF, which treat the symptoms of the ailment, this drug is being developed to potentially attack the disease itself.


At the breakfast table yesterday, I was reading the New York Times which included a special supplement on "retirement." It was full of the kinds of articles that can make a middle aged person panicky about their financial future - "I don't have enough time to put enough away for retirement," etc.

Now, it wasn't all bleak, there was some good advice and a kick in the pants, as it were, to be more active in planning and saving for the future.

03.03.11 | By Kate Connors

Watching the Senate floor debate on Senator Patrick Leahy's patent reform bill, we were quite pleased to see the vast, vast majority of senators - 87 of them, in fact - vote to maintain the America Invents Act's first-to-file provision.