Behind the Veil:
Reporting on the Drug and Biotech Industry
On May 31, 2002, the Center for Science and Medical Journalism gathered thirty journalists from around New England for an in-depth look at the science, economics and politics of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. The conference brought top journalists together with industry insiders so they could learn how better to report on a contentious and complex industry that has come under increasing scrutiny in the United States, and around the world.
Click here for a transcript of the conference (PDF format, 163K).
Panel One: The view from inside
The business of biotech
Alan Crane, a venture partner at Polaris and CEO of Mimeon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., who has a long and successful history as a drug marketer and developer, presented an inside view of the economic constraints on drug development. He explained why it costs so much to design a new drug and how these costs contribute both to drug prices and to decisions about the sorts of drugs that are created and eventually brought to market.
Risks and rewards: biotech case studies
David Stone, managing director of Managing Director of Flagship Ventures with nearly two decades experience in biotech, offered an insider's perspective on the opportunities and risks inherent in biotechnology research.
Panel Two: Dispatches from the front
Profits vs. public domain
Veteran science journalist Robert Lee Hotz, who specializes in biotechnology for The Los Angeles Times, discussed conflict of interest in the drug industry.
Digging substance from the hype
David Stipp, acclaimed biotechnology reporter for Fortune Magazine, Barry Werth, author of the ground-breaking book Billion Dollar Molecule, and Jon Palfreman, an award winning documentary film maker with a special interest in the drug industry, rounded out the program with their insights on the industry.