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Monthly Archives: December 2015

PhRMA Launches Biologics and Biosimilars Online Resources

PhRMA jpgWashington, DC, December 19, 2015 ― Biological medicines often represent the cutting-edge of biomedical research and have revolutionized the treatment of a variety of medical illnesses and conditions that presently have no other treatments available.

A biosimilar product is exactly what its name implies — it is a biologic that is “similar” to another biologic drug already approved by the FDA.

To help increase awareness and understanding of the important scientific, regulatory and reimbursement policies for these medicines, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) is excited to launch a new section of our website today that provides educational resources on these topics. Continue reading

Christie Administration Announces $5.5 Million to Improve Health Care for Veterans

Department of Health NJTrenton, NJ, December 19, 2015 ― The New Jersey Department of Health yesterday announced $5.5 million in grants to implement programs and innovations that will improve health care for veterans and their families throughout the state.

Studies show veterans experience a host of service-related and other health issues following their time in the military. One in five homeless Americans are veterans, and nearly 60 percent of homeless vets are minorities. Continue reading

HINJ Statement on Passage of the Omnibus Spending Package

hinj_logo_high_resNew Brunswick, NJ, December 18, 2015 — The HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) congratulates Congress on the passage of legislation that includes several key provisions that will strengthen medical innovation in the United States.

The spending measure, which received bipartisan support, includes $2 billion in increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH); a $133 million increase in funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); a two-year suspension of the medical device excise tax; and makes permanent the Research & Development (R&D) tax credit. Continue reading

Proposed Federal Budget For Alzheimer’s Research May Rise by Over 50 Percent

Alzheimer's WordsWashington, DC, December 17, 2015 The Washington Post reports that the spending deal Congress reached Tuesday night includes an unprecedented increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research: $350 million in fiscal 2016. If approved by the White House, it will increase government spending on the disease by over 50 percent.

Advocates have long pushed for significant increases in Alzheimer’s spending, calling it a coming crisis and saying it should be funded at the same level as cancer, HIV/AIDS and heart disease research. Continue reading

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Leads an Institute of Medicine Committee Studying Viral Hepatitis

Brian StromNew Brunswick, NJ, December 17, 2015 ― Dr. Brian Strom, the chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, is heading a team of scientists who are trying to change the outlook for hepatitis patients.

Last month Strom was appointed to chair a committee selected by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine to determine whether eliminating HBV and HCV is feasible, and if so, to develop an action plan within the next few years.

Chronic viral hepatitis has a reputation for being a silent killer. The infection often goes undetected until the symptoms of advanced liver cancer appear. By that point, a patient has a five-year survival rate, according to the American Cancer Society. Continue reading

AdvaMed, MITA and MDMA Commend Congress for Including Suspension of the Medical Device Tax in Year-End Legislation

Capitol Dome flag faveWashington, DC, December 16, 2015 ― The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) today commended Congress for including suspension of the medical device excise tax in year-end legislation and urged its swift passage.

“We are extremely appreciative of the bipartisan efforts to include a two-year suspension of the medical device tax in the tax extenders legislation. Suspending the tax will be an important step in addressing the harmful effect it is having on research and development and continued medical progress.  On behalf of America’s medical technology companies, our employees and the patients we serve, we urge Congress to act swiftly on this legislation,” said AdvaMed Board Chairman Vincent A. Forlenza, chairman, CEO and president BD. Continue reading

NIH Unveils FY 2016–2020 Strategic Plan; Plan Sets Course for Advancing Scientific Discoveries, Human Health

NIH in BlueBethesda, MD, December 16, 2015 ― The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today released the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2016–2020: Turning Discovery Into Health, which will ensure the agency remains well positioned to capitalize on new opportunities for scientific exploration and address new challenges for human health.

Developed after hearing from hundreds of stakeholders and scientific advisers, and in collaboration with leadership and staff of NIH’s Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs), the plan is designed to complement the ICOs’ individual strategic plans that are aligned with their congressionally mandated missions. Continue reading

Join ‘I’m Not Average,’ A Community for Patients, Supporters; Follow on Facebook, Twitter

PhRMA's I'm Not Average CampaignWashington, DC, December 16, 2015 ― Every patient has a story.  This is the core belief that inspired the creation of “I’m Not Average,” an online campaign committed to sharing stories of hope in the face of illness thanks, in part, to innovative treatments and modern medicines, posts Ieva M. Augstums on The Catalyst, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s (PhRMA) content-rich blog.

Join the online “I’m Not Average” community on Facebook and Twitter, and show your support for those that embody strength during hardship. Continue reading

STAT: Congress Ready to Give NIH Its Biggest Increase in 12 Years

STATWashington, DC, December 16, 2015 ― David Nather and Dylan Scott today report in STAT that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will get a $2 billion funding increase in the federal spending bill released early Wednesday.

It is the first time the NIH budget would get such a large raise in more than 12 years — assuming the spending bill can get enough votes to pass Congress.

The move comes after a year of growing momentum in which powerful Republicans and Democrats convinced their colleagues that medical science is ready to make good use of extra money. Continue reading

PhRMA CEO Says Turing and Valeant Do Not Represent Biopharmaceutical Industry

Stephen Ubl officialWashington, DC, December 15, 2015 ― In an opinion piece published in The Hill, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen J. Ubl points out that “the conversation around the cost of new medicines is not subsiding—and that is a good thing.”

“We welcome this conversation because we believe that the longer and deeper the discussion goes, the better lawmakers and the general public will understand the true, profound value these new medicines deliver to America’s patients,” Ubl added.

In the December 11 opinion piece published on The Hill’s Congress Blog, Ubl continues: Continue reading