Clinical Trial Event in Maine Unites Patients, Governor and Industry in Fight Against Disease

Clinical Trial Event in Maine Unites Patients, Governor and Industry in Fight Against Disease

04.19.13 | By Kaelan Hollon

This morning's Research In Your Backyard (RIYB) event was a bright spot of hope amid an otherwise overcast day in Augusta, and PhRMA President and CEO (and longtime Maine resident) John Castellani spoke to his hometown crowd about the impact of clinical trials in Maine. With more than 560 clinical trials that have been conducted or are still occurring in the state in the past 13 years, the RIYB program provides an important message of hope to both patients and the state's economy.

"These trials give our talented local clinicians an opportunity to be involved in cutting-edge science, which benefits every patient in Maine," Castellani explained. "Our sector has a strong and productive relationship with Maine, and it's a relationship that benefits patients- Maine patients- as well as local research institutions and Maine's economy. I'm glad to be a part of it, and proud to release today's RIYB report."

Maine Governor Paul LePage also gave a brief address, joining Castellani in a moving address regarding progress made in-state to eradicate diseases affecting loved ones. The Governor's mother-in-law took part in a clinical trial, he explained, and that early treatment was one of the main reasons she survived her illness, enabling Gov. LePage'schildren to meet their grandmother.

Perhaps the most moving story of the day was that of Tom Sotir, a clinical trial patient who eloquently spoke about his experience with acute myeloid leukemia, suddenly hospitalized and faced with an uncertain future that was frankly, terrifying. His decision to participate in a local clinical trial was spurred in part by the excellent physicians who worked with him to ensure his safety and education about the process, and the ease with which he was able to take part in the trial. To date, his leukemia has been in remission thanks in part to his participation in a clinical trial.

It’s events like these – and the stories of the people involved – that make all the hard work and perseverance worth it.

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