The Catalyst

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04.28.11 | By Kate Connors

Two weeks ago at our annual meeting, attendees heard a variety of governors talk about the roles that biopharmaceutical research companies play in their state economies. Now, a new resource on PhRMA's website makes it easier for the public to see this role.


The Huffington Post has an interesting piece today that's worth reading on new efforts to research and develop new medicines to treat rare diseases. Of course, many of these efforts aren't really new. America's biopharmaceutical research companies have long researched and developed medicines targeting rare diseases (i.e. conditions affecting less than 200,000 patients).

04.26.11 | By Kate Connors

A few weeks ago, the indomitable Jennifer Windrum, of WTF: Where's The Funding? (for lung cancer), asked me to write a guest post for her blog. I was honored, and saw it as a great opportunity to reach cancer patients who may not know just how much work is going into research and development for new medicines to potentially treat the countless cancers that plague so many Americans.

04.26.11 | By Kate Connors

Sunday's Boston Globe included a multi-part series detailing Cambridge, Mass.-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a growing biopharmaceutical firm that is hoping to find itself on the cusp of moving from a young start-up to a commercially viable company. In this sense, it's a great example of the many emerging companies that contribute to the work done throughout the biopharmaceutical research sector, and we'll continue to highlight similar emerging companies in the future here on The Catalyst.


Kate and I talk about innovation a lot. We talk about science and the process of discovery. We talk about the cost of researching and discovering new medicines. And, we talk about the new medicines and their long road from laboratory to approval for patient use.

04.25.11 | By Kate Connors

In today's Wall Street Journal, reporter Amy Dockser Marcus writes about how an online community called PatientsLikeMe helped to inspire a clinical trial of lithium to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The trial, published in Sunday's Nature Biotechnology journal, was inconclusive.


There was a good oped Friday in Xconomy by PhRMA Board Chairman Christopher Viehbacher and PhRMA's President and CEO John Castellani.

04.22.11 | By Kate Connors

Any prescription medicines that you have at home come with specific storage instructions: keep away from light, perhaps, or store in the refrigerator. But what happens if you happen to be, oh, staffing a mission to the International Space Station?


An interesting report from the World Health Organization found that cases of measles are on the rise across Europe.


I've been watching a fascinating series on the PBS NewsHour focusing on the challenges of autism. The series, entitled Autism Now, is hosted by former news anchor Robert McNeil who tells the story of his autistic grandson.

04.21.11 | By Kate Connors

Earlier this week, a joint plan was outlined by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where key strategies were developed that address preventing prescription drug abuse nationwide. A full outline of the plan can be found here.


As we've noted in previous blog posts, counterfeit medicines are becoming more prevalent around the world. Many foreign countries have been experiencing an influx of counterfeit drugs because they have a weaker regulatory regime compared to the U.S. and/or open drug supply system. In the U.S., however, our closed drug supply system has helped shield patients from the dangerous worldwide counterfeit medicines epidemic.

04.20.11 | By Kate Connors

I admit that this blog post comes to you a few days late. As I read through coverage of PhRMA's annual meeting, this article in The Newark Star-Ledger caught my eye.


With PhRMA's annual meeting completed, everyone here is getting back into their more normal routines. So, I thought I'd start the week talking about a piece in today's New York Times Health Section.

04.15.11 | By Kate Connors

An interview with The Catalyst and Orexigen CEO Mike Narachi

1. Talk about what it is for a company like Orexigen to become a member of PhRMA?

We're obviously excited because our goals align so closely with those of PhRMA. As a small company with a late-stage product, we understand the importance of creating an environment that fosters innovation, and becoming a member of PhRMA -- a group that has made innovation such a priority -- was a natural fit.