The Forgotten People
Every once in a while someone makes a statement that really resonates with you. At today’s luncheon, the topic was global health (of course!) and the challenges and opportunities for engaging in global health product development. Panelists included BIO’s Chairman of the Board, Joshua Boger, president and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals; Una Ryan, CEO of AVANT Immunotherapeutics; Vijay Samant, president and CEO of Vical; and Henri Termeer, president and CEO of Genzyme Corporation. Naturally, because this is a conference on global health, there was a good bit of dialogue about neglected diseases. At the end, during the Q&A, one of the attendees approached the microphone and made the statement that neglected diseases equal neglected people – one billion people. Wow, I never looked at it in those terms! I walked away feeling ever more grateful for conferences such as this that are bringing together various groups of people – people who are not forgetting about these moms, dads, sisters, and brothers and are working toward solutions to help them.