• The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network, the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario,  and the Save Your Skin Foundation are hosting a summit:  “Drug Pricing in Canada: Mobilizing Patients to Action”  in Toronto this November 15-16.

  • Medical progress marches forward because clinical research is a venture that encourages daring and risk and does not fear or punish failure.  Drug discovery may be the highest risk venture in the world. By its very nature it produces far more failures than successes.

    For patients around the world, the successes of medical research are saving and changing lives. There are dramatic improvements in cancer survival; HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence; Polio is almost eradicated. Still for all the progress there is much yet to be done in treating, managing and preventing disease.

  • Yesterday, global leaders, policy makers, industry professionals and academics called on countries around the world to do more to help the 350 million people suffering from depression.  In particular they stressed the need for collaboration, urging healthcare systems, businesses and the general public to work together to fight depression.  The Global Crisis of Depression forum - organized by The Economist Events and sponsored by H. Lundbeck A/S - highlighted the global burden of depression, which is now the leading cause of disability worldwide.

  • On November 25, policymakers, healthcare providers, researchers, employers and patient groups will gather in London to consider national strategies to tackle what has become a leading cause of illness globally. Depression is a brain disease that severely impacts patients’ lives. Roughly half of patients fail to respond to initial anti-depressant therapy for reasons that include lack of efficacy, poor tolerability or residual symptoms such as cognitive dysfunction. No one understands this better than Lundbeck, the leading research-based pharmaceutical company dedicated to diseases of the brain, which is why CEO Ulf Wiinberg will join the panel discussion about treatment options in the 21st Century that day in London. Also sharing their views will be health ministers from the UK and Denmark, and experts from Sweden, Canada, Germany, the UK and the European Brain Council. 

  • Globally, there are currently a little over 40 million people living with dementia. This total could increase to some140 million by 2050 without better prevention and more effective treatments. It is this reality which led the G8 to make its recent pledge to foster the development of effective new therapies by 2025.

    Given the inherent riskiness of medicines development, it is uncertain that this challenging political timetable will be met.   Any investment area characterised by a need for sustained long term research and uncertain returns is in truth unlikely to be judged attractive by either public or private institutional decision makers with serious money to spend. However, this is no reason to lose faith that the challenge of reducing the burdens imposed by dementia and allied disorders can and will ultimately be met.

    David Taylor, Emeritus Professor of Pharmaceutical and Public Health Policy, UCL

  • Prostate cancer kills more than 300,000 men a year world-wide, 90 per cent of whom are older than age 65. At the same time, centres like the University College London Hospital (UCLH) are finding that past problems with interpreting PSA data have often been associated with the biopsy techniques often used following the finding of an elevated PSA level.

    Questions of when and whom to test, how to treat and where to focus precious resources in the fight against cancer are explored by David Taylor, Emeritus Professor of Pharmaceutical and Public Health Policy, University College London.

  • This year, the European Cystic Fibrosis Society’s Clinical Trial Network (ECFS-CTN) celebrates its fifth anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, it seemed appropriate to highlight the excellent work this network is doing in facilitating high-quality, efficient clinical trials for cystic fibrosis (CF) treatments. One of the key reasons for this network’s success is its strong emphasis on the involvement of patient organisations in clinical research.

  • According to a national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America, which was published in June 2013, more than two thirds (72%) of Americans says it is likely they would participate in a clinical trial if recommended by their doctor, while only 22% can recall a health care professional ever talking to them about medical research. The results of this survey clearly point to the need for improved education about the importance and benefits of clinical trials.

  • Clinical trials are key to moving medicine forward as they look at new ways to prevent, detect or treat disease, in the form of new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment or a novel way to use an existing treatment works and is safe.