PhRMA

Tell Me, Please

A US senator has sent letters to two biotech and pharmaceutical industry groups to ask about their approaches to handling sexual harassment, according to Stat News.

New membership rules by PhRMA governing R&D spending come as the industry tries to change its image as profiteers of sickness and disease. 

In an analysis of 10 drug companies, pharma consulting firm Diaceutics found that very few of them are prepared to break away from the traditional drug development model and launch personalized medicine products in the next decade.

John Castellani, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said that while the industry's commitment to using genomic strategies to advance targeted therapies is growing, the road ahead is fraught with scientific, regulatory, and reimbursement challenges.

A Supreme Court decision against drug developers in Sorrell v. IMS Health could potentially hamper how pharmacy benefit managers can use physician prescription data to drive adoption of pharmacogenomically guided products.

Industry observers have noted that the move from the outspoken Billy Tauzin, also known as the "Swamp Fox," to an insider business lobbyist-type like Castellani represents a shift in PhRMA's advocacy style. Where that leaves PhRMA's support for personalized medicine, a pet cause of Tauzin's, is hard to determine in the post-healthcare-reform climate in Washington.

 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate health committee, will be retiring at the end of his term, Stat News reports.

UCSF researchers find that having two X chromosomes may contribute to women's longer lifespans, according to Discover's D-brief blog.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's use of genetic approaches to study foodborne illnesses.

In PNAS this week: immune cell profiling of wild baboons by social status, metabolomics profiling of esophageal tumors, and more.