NEW YORK, July 28 A record 488 new, innovative medicines are being developed by biopharmaceutical research companies with facilities in New York City, according to a new report released today at the Bronx-Lebanon Medical Center. The medicines are awaiting approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or are in human clinical trials.
New York Mets and Yankees legend Darryl Strawberry, a two-time colon cancer survivor, described his battle against this potentially devastating disease at the release of Medicines in Development New York City 2009, issued by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. joined today's press conference to discuss the potential for expanding the role of The Bronx in developing new life-saving medicines. Currently, there are 23 sites in The Bronx where clinical trials are conducted, and 334 active clinical trials are now underway in the borough, which is home to many top healthcare institutions.
"The healthcare industry is already our borough's largest employer, and we should do everything we can to expand its economic presence in The Bronx," said Diaz.
The report includes 52 cutting-edge medicines for stroke and heart disease, and 128 for cancer - two of the leading chronic diseases both in New York City and nationwide. One potential medicine for patients is for colorectal cancer, derived from bacteria found in soil, keeps tumor cells from dividing.
"The medicines now in the research pipelines of these New York City companies are contributing significantly to the incredible progress made by America's pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies in developing new and more effective treatments for a wide range of diseases," said PhRMA Senior Vice President Ken Johnson, who provided an overview of the report. "If we are going to cure cancer in our lifetime, as President Obama has challenged us to do, it will take a sustained national effort, with scientists from New York to California taking part in this critically important effort."
New York Biotechnology Association Executive Director Nathan Tinker detailed the contribution of New York City's life sciences sector to the state economy, noting that biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing in the state is a $10.5 billion industry and responsible for 67,606 jobs. "New York City has the world's largest concentration of academic medical research centers, is home to 120 bioscience companies, and is #1 in the country in National Institutes of Health funding for universities and colleges. New York City is setting standards for medical breakthroughs and innovative treatments worldwide."
The research and development captured in the report is critical to helping Bronx residents live healthier lives, said Dr. Yudy Persaud, speaking on behalf of the South Bronx Asthma Partnership. The report includes 31 cutting-edge medicines for diabetes and 17 for asthma - chronic diseases for which The Bronx has the highest rates in New York City.
"Pharmaceutical and biotechnology scientists are making exciting progress in the search for new cures and treatments for cancer and other diseases. But these efforts are wasted if the medicines we develop aren't accessible to patients who need them," said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin.
Help is available to patients in need through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), a program sponsored by America's pharmaceutical research companies. To date, the PPA has helped nearly six million patients nationwide, including more than 190,000 people in New York State. Since its launch in April 2005, the PPA bus tour has visited all 50 states and more than 2,500 cities to educate people about patient assistance programs.
The "Help is Here Express" is staffed by trained specialists able to quickly help uninsured and financially struggling patients access information on more than 475 patient assistance programs, including nearly 200 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. When the "Help is Here Express" moves on, patients can visit PPA's easy-to-use Web site (www.pparx.org) or call the toll-free phone number (1-888-4PPA-NOW).
To read Medicines in Development New York City 2009 on the PhRMA Web site, click on the following link: http://www.phrma.org.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.
PhRMA Internet Address: http://www.phrma.org
For information on stories of hope and survival, visit: http://sharingmiracles.com/
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: http://www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: http://www.pparx.org
For more information on public health emergencies, visit http://www.rxresponse.org
SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America