Research Key to Medical “Miracles”

Medical Breakthroughs and Personalized Medicine

04.11.13 | By John Crosby

The second #PhRMA13 panel begins at 1:45 pm EDT and will address medical breakthroughs and what needs to change to speed personalized medicine to patients. In a guest post, John Crosby, Executive Director at the American Osteopathic Association, addresses what he believes is necessary to bring science from the lab to the patient.

The things we do in medicine today would have been called miracles not too long ago.  Restoring hearing to deaf children; sending deadly cancers into remission; repairing grave injuries with life-saving surgeries—these medical advances are indeed miraculous.

The great thing about the medical profession, unlike our daily lives, is that we have the ability to make miracles happen. We do it through research, built through collaboration on a foundation of science, as a panel during the PhRMA Annual Meeting is exploring. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) is proud to work with PhRMA on the Partners for Healthy Dialogues campaign to educate the public and providers about the importance of relationships between physicians, patients, and biopharmaceutical companies. Our combined efforts and communications are vital to developing life-saving drugs.

One example worth noting - the AOA has helped lead the way on prescription drug abuse, reaching out to agencies like the FDA on patient safety issues and launching a new public education campaign on pain in the workplace. We recognize the great work biopharmaceutical companies are doing to address drug abuse head-on, and the AOA will continue to provide input on how to best protect patients. Without question, safety must continue to be our shared priority.

We’ve also been working to cultivate new conversations about patient safety and research online. Osteopathic physicians and their patients are increasingly sharing ideas and insights, and the AOA is helping to grow the conversation by developing real-time communications channels via social media and our website,, to keep our own members informed about research breakthroughs, the AOA redesigned The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association in January of this year, adopting a design that reflects The Journal's scholarly intent and enhances its readability. Its 51-member JAOA Editorial Board includes representatives from osteopathic medical schools as well as osteopathic specialty colleges.  

While these advances may not seem like miracles at first glance, anything that can help save a life, inform a patient, or prevent a life-altering condition might be viewed by that patient as miraculous.  We look forward to sharing more on our experience and how we can learn together this week at #PhRMA13.




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