From Hope to Cure


The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has launched a new initiative which focuses on the myriad benefits of health and medical research, particularly as it relates to patient care.  The initiative, titled From Hope to Cures, uses patient videos as well as statistical evidence and graphics to illustrate how the billions of dollars spent by pharmaceutical companies on research are extending and enriching the lives of millions of people.

This new initiative represents a push for research, progress, and hope.  There are numerous items on the initiative’€™s website including links to articles ranging from drug discovery and development to a study which predicts substantial growth in the healthcare job industry by 2020.

Although these articles provide useful information about health and medical research as a worthwhile investment, the truly remarkable content lies in the patient videos.  Susan Parkinson, a survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, recounts her tale of doctors immediately identifying the disease after a CAT scan and getting her into chemotherapy treatment within a week.  She credits the chemotherapy and radiation treatments with saving her life and ensuring that she would be around to raise her children.  She also noted that 20years ago, these treatments were not available.  Thanks to the dedicated work of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, Susan will be able to watch her children grow into adulthood.  The video ends with this important message — ’€œ981 new medicines and vaccines are currently in development to fight cancer.’€

This type of inspirational story becomes even more poignant when considering the potential impact of the automatic spending cuts for federal agencies scheduled to take effect in January 2013.  The loss of funding for medical and health research will greatly affect everyone — scientists, doctors, patients, and the families of those struggling with disease.  As evidenced in Susan’€™s story, research is ultimately the difference between life and death.

PhRMA, a member of the Research!America alliance, represents the country’€™s leading pharmaceutical industry research and biotechnology companies.

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana