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Bringing Hope to Patients

March 28, 2012
No-one expected Hope Bartley to survive after she was born three months early. Thanks to extraordinary biotech medicine, she did. Alena Galan, age 14, is one of only a few thousand patients with a rare disease called MPS. Thanks to the hard work of leading biotech scientists and the approval of a new treatment, she now has a chance to lead a normal life. Lori Lober experienced the unthinkable when she was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Now, 11 years after her diagnosis and treatment, Lori is full of life…and hope.

These are just a few stories that represent the challenges millions of patients living with debilitating diseases face every day. These are exceptional cases, highlighting extraordinary individuals, that are told in an exciting new documentary, “From Despair to Hope: A New World of Treatments” airing tonight — Wednesday, March 28th — on WUSA-TV (CBS), Channel 9, here in Washington, D.C., at 9:00 p.m. EST.

“From Despair to Hope” introduces a diverse group of amazing patients and their families who are living with a variety of the most devastating diseases facing humankind, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease and several rare diseases. Through their individual stories of courage, hope and survival, these patients tell us how breakthrough biotechnology medicines and therapies have saved and improved their quality of life.

We know that patients and their families are often biotechnology’s best advocates. They personalize the complex science and the mind-boggling numbers related to biotechnology and health care: The overwhelming number of patients living with debilitating diseases, the escalating costs, and the billions of dollars required to bring new therapies and treatments from the research bench to bedside.

Even as we celebrate these amazing stories of survival, we also know that there are millions of patients awaiting the next biotech breakthrough that may provide them with renewed hope. We know that biotech researchers around the country are working hard to turn that hope into reality. We look forward to working with our member companies, members of Congress, and our allies throughout the world to advocate for a more streamlined and forward-thinking regulatory review process that will ensure that innovative biotech firms can focus their resources where they belong – in research and devleopment that leads to breakthrough medicines and cures, and job creation – rather than navigating an overly complicated and murky regulatory process. And we will continue our efforts to advocate for policies that encourage investment in biotech innovation.

I personally would like to thank you in advance for watching and for your continued support of biotech innovation.