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Report on 547 New Medicines in Development for Neurological Disorders Released in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, March 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) delivered a new report today on medicines in the research pipeline for neurological diseases. The report found America's pharmaceutical research companies are testing 547 new medicines to help treat neurological diseases.

"We released this report in San Antonio because of its particular relevance to the health of this city's population and to the population in Texas," said PhRMA Senior Vice President Ken Johnson. The report was unveiled at the University Center for Community Health. "Over half of San Antonio's population is Hispanic, and Texas has the second largest Hispanic population in the country. Some of the diseases highlighted in the report, including epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and lupus, are among the diseases that disproportionately affect Hispanic Americans."

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, for example, seizures are twice as common in Hispanics as they are in non-Hispanics and lupus is twice as prevalent among Hispanic women as it is among Caucasian women. The Alzheimer's Foundation has found that Hispanics are at greater risk to develop dementia than the rest of the population, and the number of Hispanics with Alzheimer's disease is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years. Additionally, stroke has been found to be the fourth leading cause of death among Hispanics, according to the American Stroke Association.

"The medicines now in the research pipeline will add to the substantial progress made in the last five years by biopharmaceutical companies in developing new and more effective neurological treatments," said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin. "The growing number of older Americans nationwide, who are susceptible to conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, will especially benefit from these new medicines. This strong commitment to research is a product of the determination of the men and women working for America's pharmaceutical research companies to develop new medicines that will enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives."

The neurological medicines in development include 82 for Alzheimer's disease, 26 for epilepsy, 23 for stroke, 30 for Parkinson's disease, 58 for brain tumors, 46 for multiple sclerosis, 29 for migraine and other headaches, 35 for sleep disorders, and 171 for several types of pain. Other medicines in development target brain injuries, Huntington's disease, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and restless legs syndrome.

These neurological conditions cost hundreds of billions of dollars in care, lost workdays, and reduced productivity annually, with the cost of Alzheimer's alone tallying more than $148 billion.

"Researchers are making exciting progress in the search for new cures and treatments for neurological disorders. But these efforts are wasted if the medicines we develop aren't accessible to patients who need them," said Johnson.

Help is available to patients in need through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, a program sponsored by America's pharmaceutical research companies. To date, the PPA has helped nearly 5 million patients nationwide, including more than 365,000 people in Texas. Since its launch in April 2005, the PPA bus tour has visited all 50 states and more than 1,500 cities to educate people about patient assistance programs. Just last month, the bus made its ninth trip through Texas and visited more than 30 cities.

The "Help is Here Express" is staffed by trained specialists able to quickly help uninsured patients in need access information on more than 475 patient assistance programs, including nearly 200 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. When the "Help is Here Express" moves on, patients can visit PPA's easy-to-use Web site ( or call the toll-free phone number (1-888-4PPA-NOW).

To read the Medicines in Development for Neurological Disorders 2008 on the PhRMA Web site, click on the following link:

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $43 billion in 2006 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry wide research and investment reached a record $55.2 billion in 2006.

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
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