March 19, 2009
New York, NY
Contact: Alicia Massey at (202) 721-4165
SOCMA’s March Luncheon again proves that it’s a great setting to garner insights on important pharmaceutical issues and get in touch with old and new contacts. Attendees enjoyed the grandeur of the Waldorf=Astoria in a relaxed SOCMA setting as they mixed and mingled with colleagues across the pharmaceutical industry.
This traditional event saw a few changes in 2009, including a new meeting location as well as hosting an important member vote immediately following the cocktail reception and luncheon, which entertained over 100 attendees.
Dr. John LaMattina, retired Senior Vice President, Pfizer, Inc. and President, Pfizer Global Research & Development, provided an interesting presentation on “Dispelling Myths of Pharma R&D,” a topic on which he published a book in 2008. After offering some examples of typical myths surrounding Big Pharma, he enforced the idea that few people appreciate the important role pharmaceutical companies plan in advancing medicine. The pharmaceutical industry, he stated, validates or disproves medical hypotheses. The industry discovers the compounds and carries out the clinical trials necessary to prove these hypotheses. Nowhere else, not in academic, government or industrial labs, does this occur.
Dr. LaMattina explored the importance of the pharmaceutical industry’s role in addressing diseases of the developing world and other philanthropic actions the industry makes. While the industry has seen a decline in FDA approvals of new medical entities, Dr. LaMattina says that it is a myth that Big Pharma’s day has passed. He attributed the current R&D productivity slump to the need for more studies in NDAs to demonstrate drug safety, more studies needed in NDAs to show value of a new drug over existing agents and industry consolidation. Big Pharma pipelines continue to grow.
Following Dr. LaMattina’s presentation, members met to discuss SOCMA’s proposed name change. The motion to change SOCMA’s name to the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates was approved at this meeting.
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