Press Release

PhRMA Encouraged by Decline in Cancer Death Rate

PhRMA May 27, 2009

Washington, D.C. (May 27, 2009) –– Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO Billy Tauzin issued the following statement regarding the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) report on the continued decline in cancer death rates:

“America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies are encouraged by the American Cancer Society’s new report showing a continued decline in cancer death rates. The modest decline is further evidence that prevention, healthy lifestyles and proper treatments are effective methods in the fight against this deadly disease that touches so many Americans.

“Of course, more can and must be done. Nationwide, nearly 1.5 million new cancer cases will strike this year and more than 500,000 Americans will die from a cancer-related illness, according to ACS. We believe that over time these numbers can be dramatically lowered – and we strongly support President Obama’s recent call to ‘cure cancer in our lifetime.’

“To achieve the President’s lofty goal, the development of innovative new medicines is critically important. America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies currently are developing 861 new medicines and vaccines to fight various forms of cancer. These include: 122 for lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States; 107 for breast cancer, which is expected to strike more than 180,000 American women this year; 70 for colorectal cancer, which is the third most common cancer in both men and women; and 103 for prostate cancer, which this year is expected to kill 28,000 American men. Additional medicines target brain cancer, kidney cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, skin cancer, and others.

“These promising medicines offer cancer patients new hope in their battles against this life-threatening disease, but such progress will be wasted if patients are unable to access the most cutting-edge treatments available.

“That’s why America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies remain committed to working toward meaningful healthcare reform that helps ensure all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage.

“In the meantime, uninsured and underinsured may still find help through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), a national clearinghouse of 475 patient assistance programs, 200 of which are sponsored by pharmaceutical research companies. The PPA has helped nearly 5.8 million Americans since 2005  (watch patient testimonials) find programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free. To find out if help may be available, patients can call 1-888-4-PPA-NOW or visit”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.

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