Biologics Battle In The News

A bitter pill: Price of biologic drugs often too high for poor, ill seniors who need them

“For people with serious diseases like cancer and arthritis, these drugs are often their last hope,” said Schumer, who plans another try when the bill hits the Senate floor. “To not price them fairly, at the behest of the brand-name drug industry, is outrageous.

Read full story (NY Daily News)

Consumer Groups Threaten To Withdraw Biologics Bill Support

In all frankness, we cannot be supportive of any generic biologics legislation that would be an empty promise to the Americans we represent and serve,” the letter said. The letter, signed by AARP, the Consumers Union, the Coalition for a Competitive Pharmaceutical Market and other groups, was sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman, D.-Calif.

The letter, also signed by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, urges Congress to “reject the fatally flawed” biologics legislation proposed by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D.-Calif., and criticizes biologics legislation passed in a Senate committee earlier this week. Eshoo wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Read full story (

For some background on the battle of the exclusivity period of biologics that is currently taking place in the U.S. Congress (thing are currently moving in favor of the Biotech and pharmaceutical industries), take a look at my post of last week: The Battle Over Biologics.

Within Our Reach: Finding A Cure For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Within Our Reach

The American College of Rheumatology Research & Education Foundation was established in 1985 as a 501 (c) 3 organization, with the mission to improve patients’ lives through support of research and training that advances the prevention, treatment and cure of rheumatic diseases.

  • On July 1, 2008, the REF awarded $10.5 million in awards and grants to almost 200 individuals and institutional grant recipients, making us the second largest funder of rheumatology research and training programs in the U.S.
  • Today, due in large part to the REF’s efforts, the number of fellows completing rheumatology training programs has increased by more than 50 percent.
  • On average, ninety cents out of every dollar donated to the REF goes directly to support programs designed to recruit, train and nurture the next generation of rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals.
  • NRAS: Improving Awareness Of RA


    NRAS Calls For A Public Awareness Campaign To Improve Time To Diagnosis And Treatment

    The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) has today called for a national campaign to improve awareness about Rheumatoid Arthritis so people can seek swift treatment and prevent long term joint damage and disability. This follows the publication of research by the National Audit Office (NAO) that has revealed a very worrying lack of awareness about RA among the public, health professionals and commissioners.

    (July 15, 2009)

    Full NRAS Press Release

    Rheumatoid Services Are “Failing”

    Tens of thousands of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are not being diagnosed or treated quickly enough, says a watchdog.

    The National Audit Office says over half a million people in England live with the disease, with 26,000 new cases a year – double the current estimate.

    But only a tenth are treated within three months of symptoms starting, as ideally they should be.

    (July 14, 2009)

    Full BBC News Article

    Two Novelists With Arthritis Share Their Stories

    Aches & Pains

    Aches & Pains

    “Here is a great gift of wisdom and humour for anyone coping with actual aches and pains. Based on the author’s own experience as a hip-replacement patient, she provides funny insider advice about coping with the ordeals of surgery, a hospital stay, and at-home convalescence.

    Highlights include: 10 little jobs you can give to anyone who innocently asks, “How can I help?”; dignified ways to cope with all the indignities of baring your body to strangers; great gifts to suggest when someone asks, “What can I bring you?”; and tips on dealing with visitors…and hospital food…and medical professionals. Far more entertaining than a potted plant! Read wonderfully by Kate Binchy.”

    Arthritis: Maeve Binchy And Martina Cole Share Their Experiences

    “Two best-selling novelists, Maeve Binchy and Martina Cole, suffer from arthritis but have refused to be downcast or to let it impede their work. Here they describe some of the prejudices they suffered and the cunning ways they devised to keep their condition secret. Both women, in different ways, have resolutely adapted to one of our most intractable, common and poorly-understood diseases.”

    Read the full story from The Telegraph…

    Thanks to Sunita (ClematisWaves) for sharing this article with me.

    RA Guy’s News Ticker

    As I get some bed rest this afternoon (don’t worry -for the most part I am okay, but some of the pressure bearing joints in my toes decided to act up, so I decided to give them a rest) I spent some time working on my blog.

    For a while I’ve wanted to add a ticker on my site, in order to include news links related to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Lyme Disease, and Autoimmune Diseases.

    With a little help from Google’s AJAX Search API, I was able to include everything I wanted, with a style that fits in perfectly with the rest of the page. So this ticker will be up there from now on. It’s the last item on the page to load, since it takes a few extra seconds to load. Click on an item whenever you want and it will open in a new tab.