The Catalyst

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This is for the foodies out there...

Ok, so it is pretty well established that innovative medicines have dramatically changed and improved healthcare over the last 50 years. But we always need to keep in mind that medicines are but one piece of the healthcare puzzle and that nutrition, genetics, life-style, access to treatment, adherence to treatments - among other factors - also play an important role in achieving and maintaining good health. I did mention nutrition, didn't I?


As you all know, one of PhRMA's main purposes is to advocate for policies that help foster the discovery of new medicines for patients. In doing so, we often slip into the inside-the-beltway vernacular of legislation, guidances and rulemakings, backing up our positions with stats, scores and citations. All of which can sometimes be a bit impersonal (though less so in The Catalyst).

And then there are times when these policies and laws really hit home.

02.10.12 | By Kate Connors

A few days ago, I missed an op-ed in the Washington Times that I just came across today - and I'm glad I did.

In recent years, we have seen both the advent of online health information and an increase in use of health IT. These tools have dramatically improved the ability of healthcare stakeholders, including patients, to communicate with each other and to share valuable information.


I really never had the interest to live in California until my husband and I visited the Golden State a few years ago. It wasn't until our drive up Route 1 from Santa Barbara to San Francisco did I change my mind. Driving up the Pacific Coast Highway was literally a life-changing experience. We'd often pull over to the side of the road to take in the beautiful scenery - the ocean, the rolling hills and the sea lions (not to mention the great vineyards). Oh, how I miss thee!

02.09.12 | By Kate Connors

This week's White House Science Fair rightly honored scientific achievement by inviting some remarkable young students to demonstrate the advances that they have made.

Sugar packets that dissolve in hot water, avoiding waste? Why didn't I think of that? Robots that operate like Skype, so grandchildren can even more closely communicate with their distant grandparents? Imagine what that would mean to families.

02.08.12 | By Preet Bilinski

The PhRMA Foundation recently announced its 2012 award recipients and one, Lindsay Garvin, is right in our backyard from the George Washington University's School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She is a doctoral candidate pursuing a Ph.D.


The White House today unveiled new efforts to help fight Alzheimer' disease, including providing additional funding for research, caregiver support and provider education.

02.07.12 | By Kate Connors

In the coming weeks and months, we're hoping to have some contributions to The Catalyst by PhRMA President and CEO John Castellani. Some of them may be quick interviews with me, and some may be thoughts that he wants to put down on paper.

To that end, I'd like to hear what our Catalyst readers would like to hear John discuss. Leave your comments below or Tweet me @KateAtPhRMA.


There's a potentially very exciting story in today's New York Times that's worth a look. Researchers doing mouse studies have apparently learned some important new information about how Alzheimer's disease spreads in the brain.

02.01.12 | By Preet Bilinski

If not, don't worry: you are not alone. However, considering that more than 13 million Americans suffer from the disease and an additional 12 million likely have it without knowing it, it's time to learn.


I was just getting my daily dose of pharma news from Pharmalot and ran across an interesting blog post about prescribing decisions made by doctors. Ed Silverman, the man behind Pharmalot, highlighted a recent study that examined how a group of physicians view the prescribing of generic drugs.


I want to recommend an interesting piece in Salon. Author Mary Elizabeth Williams writes about her participation in a Phase I immunotherapy clinical trial for a Stage 4 melanoma. It is an eyes-open and moving account of her condition, hopes and fears as she recounts her participation in the trial and the first, preliminary results.


Impressive efforts are increasingly underway to bring together biopharmaceutical research companies, world governments and key non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the global fight against often neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

01.30.12 | By Kate Connors

Earlier this month, I wrote about the news that India has gone a full year without a new polio diagnosis - a big step forward to eradicating the disease.

01.30.12 | By Kate Connors

Today, PhRMA announced that we are transferring the future development of our benefit-risk assessment framework to the Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science. As our press release stresses, this move is intended to further the framework - which we developed over the course of six years from an analytical model to a functional pilot program - so that the principles can be more broadly available for use by all stakeholders, from industry to regulators and healthcare providers.