PhRMA's Annual Meeting

PhRMA's Annual Meeting

04.11.11 | By John Castellani

PhRMA's 2011 Annual Meeting starts this Wednesday in Jersey City, New Jersey. Few places in America have as many pharmaceutical research and biotechnology sector manufacturing and headquarters facilities or employ as many people as New Jersey. In fact, according to recently released data commissioned by PhRMA, nearly 46,500 New Jersey men and women are directly employed in New Jersey's biopharmaceutical research industry and each of those jobs supports nearly 150,000 jobs in other sectors in the state and around the country.

During the meeting, we will focus on finding answers to some of the biggest challenges we face - both in our industry and in America's health care system. We'll hear from and engage with patient advocates, health care professionals, thought leaders, policy makers and other stakeholders on a wide range of topics.

We're going look at what the future of medicines holds and how biology and genomics are making truly personalized health care possible. We will also be looking at: the importance of investing in innovation and what we need to do to promote new research and strengthen the incentives that reward risk taking; how innovation can help stimulate the local, state and national economy; how reimbursement system reforms are critical to future access to medicines; and how this industry - working in tandem with other stakeholders - can help find solutions to many of the tough health challenges we face in America.

This last point underscores the reason the biopharmaceutical research industry both exists and is an essential national resource. By this I mean, whether we're talking about the impact from Alzheimer's disease, rare diseases, chronic conditions and diseases of the developing world, the medical status-quo simply isn't good enough. We need new medical approaches and new medicines if we are to control and reduce the toll of disease. That means new approaches to R&D, patient-centric regulatory processes and consistent policies that help foster new medical innovation.

It also means taking a longer view and trying come to grips with health care hurdles we know lie ahead but which may not fully manifest for 10, 20 or even 50 years. It means looking beyond short-term budget timeframes, and recognizing the value of prevention and disease management.

I encourage you to check back regularly over the next couple of days. We've got a very full and interesting agenda. Best yet, this year we'll be live-streaming the general sessions of the meeting on our website, making this PhRMA's most open and transparent meeting ever. Stay tuned, more details will come shortly.

John J. Castellani

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