By Dennis Jackman
January 7, 2016
We often hear the question, ‘Why do drugs cost as much as they do?‘ In the U.S., the cost of drugs has become a campaign issue for some Presidential candidates, and Congressional task forces and committees have been exploring this question. Legislation has been introduced in some states to limit drug prices. And in Europe, there are steps toward joint negotiation of prices among some nations.
But what is often missing in statements about the cost of medicines and in proposed solutions is an answer to the fundamental question, ‘What is the value of pharmaceutical products to patients and the healthcare system versus the cost?‘ This is where the focus needs to be placed so that appropriate policy decisions can be made based on patient benefits, savings that drugs provide to the healthcare system, economic value, and the need to sustain valuable biopharmaceutical innovation, rather than a singular focus on drug costs.
How to keep the Grinch away and stay healthy this holiday season
December 23, 2015
By Charles (Chip) Altman MD, MBA
While Dr. Seuss’ Grinch crept into the Whos’ houses and stole all the roast beast and presents, the flu is just as sinister, and can do an even better job of ruining your holiday season.
Spreading the flu throughout Whoville would surely have put many of the Whos in bed, rather than singing happily in the town square. The flu thrives when temperatures drop and winter coats are brought out. Cooler air, lower humidity, and staying indoors are ideal conditions for flu transmission.
The solution is readily available; the challenge is educating the public and
eliminating stereotypes about flu.
October 30, 2015
This post is excerpted in part from remarks by CSL CEO and Managing Director Paul Perreault on a panel convened by industry, advocacy and government leaders at Pennsylvania BIO’s 2015 Life Sciences Future conference in Philadelphia.
CSL CEO and Managing Director Paul Perreault talks about improving influenza vaccination rates and pandemic preparedness at Pennsylvania BIO Life Sciences Future conference in Philadelphia.
Influenza or flu is a topic I’m personally passionate about because I’ve seen the severe ramifications of the disease first hand. The U.S. can make a difference in improving vaccination rates and pandemic preparedness because there are sufficient supplies of vaccines available, both the traditional egg-based, as well as cell-based.
We also have a variety of delivery options to meet the needs of most of the population including standard shots with a needle and syringe, and even needle-free options. Yet, even though we are well equipped to vaccinate, our rates remain dismally low: today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than 50% of the population in the U.S. receives a yearly flu vaccine.
During International Plasma Awareness Week, October 11-17, three patients express how they really feel about people who donate their plasma, which is used to make lifesaving therapies.
October 9, 2015
By Sonya Williams
Janice can now do what she loves best, volunteer and travel around the world. Loyd is an U.S. Air Force veteran and currently teaches a high school class in leadership and character development. And Chelsee enjoys being outdoors doing Crossfit and nature photography. But it wasn’t always that way for these three, who have at least one thing in common – common variable immune deficiency (CVID). CVID is a rare medical disorder that can only be managed with therapies derived from human plasma. And the plasma that is used to make their therapies can only be obtained from people who are willing to donate their plasma.
This is the third and final post in the Mt. Rainier series.
September 28, 2015
By Dee Meisner
I am an “Alpha.” That’s what we Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency patients call ourselves. We have a rare genetic condition that results in reduced levels of a protein that protects our lungs from inflammation and results in reduced lung capacity, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and, in some cases, liver disease. I have never let my diagnosis define me or limit my abilities. It was that attitude that led to my crazy dream to hike as high as others do, to climb mountains.
Although I fell short of my goal last year, I did not give up.
Last year, I attempted the nine-mile, round trip trek from Paradise Trailhead to Camp Muir on Mount Rainier (Washington, US). The peak of this hike is nearly 10,000 feet in elevation, a height that makes breathing a challenge for even the fit athlete. But, for an Alpha like me, it’s exponentially more difficult. Although I fell short of my goal last year, I did not give up. This year, with the help of CSL Behring, I had a team behind me and that made all the difference. They sent 15 employees to join me on this adventure.