June 29, 2009

Perspectives from the DIA Annual Meeting, Anne Quinn Young, MPH

This year was a historic meeting for the Drug Information Association (DIA) – thanks to the visionary perspective of chairperson Nancy Smith, PhD, former Director, Office of Training and Communications, FDA, for the first time, the patient perspective was presented with representation from the MMRF and from the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO).

Last year, Kathy Giusti delivered the keynote address, which led to my participating in two panels to represent the patient perspective on drug development at this year’s meeting.  My remarks focused on how the MMRF educates the myeloma community to optimize current therapies as well as ensures that the community has safe and effective therapies in the future.  With me on both panels was Ken Kaitin, PhD, Director of the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, who described the MMRF as “changing the landscape in drug development and patient care”.  Kathy had the incredible foresight and insight to recognize that the MMRF’s goal mirrored that of industry – to bring new (and of course effective) treatments to patients as quickly as possible – but that was more than 11 years ago!  In today’s world, collaboration and transparent communications among all key “pillars” (ie, patients/patient groups, academia, industry, and regulatory authorities) are critical to ensure safe and effective treatments are developed and made available to patients as quickly as possible, and we are more than happy to continue to play the role of congregator and broker to maximize these partnerships.