Newswise — The PhRMA Foundation has released its 2018 annual report, which highlights the work of its awards, grant programs, research projects and initiatives. The Foundation provided more than $4 million in 2018 to support 54 awards, grants and fellowships in pharmacology and toxicology, clinical pharmacology, health outcomes, informatics, pharmaceutics, translational medicine and therapeutics, and healthcare value assessment.

 “For decades, the PhRMA Foundation has supported some of the best and the brightest scientists and researchers, who are exploring many innovative and exciting discoveries that will improve the lives of patients,” said PhRMA Foundation Chairman Alfred W. Sandrock, MD, PhD. “PhRMA Foundation awardees and grant recipients greatly contribute to ongoing research and the development of  novel strategies to make medicine more affordable, more personalized, and more manageable. I couldn’t be prouder of their work.”

 The annual report details progress in the Foundation’s Value Assessment Initiative (VAI), a multi-faceted effort to determine the true value of healthcare treatments, improve patient outcomes and reduce inefficiency. Since its launch in 2017, the VAI has grown to encompass four Centers of Excellence, each of which received $500,000, three-year grants from the Foundation. These Centers include: The University of Colorado Center for Pharmaceutical Value (PValue), the Center for Enhanced Value Assessment (CEVA) at Tufts Medical Center, Patient-Driven Values in Healthcare Evaluation (PAVE) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and the Research Consortium for Health Care Value Assessment, a partnership between Altarum and VBID Health.

 “Defining value and assessing the value of health care is becoming a more inclusive practice, and the Foundation is supporting efforts to bring more patients to the discussion and ensure the research world is including their voices,” said Eileen Cannon, PhRMA Foundation President. “This year’s awards prove that we remain committed to preparing the next generation of scientists and practitioners to overcome even the most complex challenges in health care and are helping shape a system where patients and health outcomes always come first.”

 The VAI includes the Foundation’s 2018 Research and Challenge Awards. The Research Award aims to improve value assessment approaches by ensuring they are patient-centered, evidence-based, appropriately account for the nature of medical progress, take a system-wide perspective, and are developed through an open and transparent process, allowing for input from a range of stakeholders. This year’s recipients include Josh J. Carlson, PhD, of the University of Washington; Shelby Reed, PhD, RPh, of the Duke Clinical Research Institute; and Gillian Sanders Schmidler, PhD, of Duke University.

 The 2018 Challenge Awards were awarded in partnership with the Personalized Medicine Coalition and recognized researchers who submitted proposals that focus specifically on novel methods for assessing the value of personalized medicine. This year’s first place winners were Lou Garrison, PhD, OHE Senior Visiting Fellow and Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy and Adrian Towse, MA, MPhil, of the Office of Health Economics in London, whose winning paper calls for a broadening of the concepts of value in personalized/precision medicine, laying out six basic policy principles as pathways to help determine value.

 The report also highlights the Foundation’s 2018 Excellence Award, which went to Gavril W. Pasternak, MD, PhD, and Darrell Abernethy, MD – who were both recognized posthumously. Awards in Excellence are given to leading academics and biopharmaceutical researchers who received Foundation funding early in their careers and have gone on to make major contributions in advancing discoveries in science and health and mentoring future scientific leaders.

Dr. Pasternak was a specialist in neuropharmacology and pain management whose work has greatly improved understanding of opioid action and patient variability. He was the Anne Burnett Tandy Chair in Neurology at Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York and a professor of neurology, neuroscience, and pharmacology at Cornell University’s Weill Medical School. He passed away on February 22, 2019.

 Dr. Darrell Abernethy was honored for his 30-year career in medicine, where he sought to better understand the effects of drugs in older adults. He spent eight years as the associate director for drug safety at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, where he explored new ways to optimize medicine use among geriatric patients. He was also chief of the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National Institute on Aging and was elected president of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Convention in 2005. He passed away on November 18, 2017.

An electronic copy of the annual report is available HERE.

About the PhRMA Foundation

For more than 50 years, the PhRMA Foundation has been helping to build a larger pool of highly-trained, top-quality scientists to meet the growing needs of scientific and academic institutions, government, and the research-intensive pharmaceutical industry. To advance this mission, the PhRMA Foundation has awarded more than $90 million in competitive research fellowships and grants since its founding. The Foundation’s emphasis on evidence-based research that determines the true value of medicines is supported by its Value Assessment Initiative. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.8 million to support a variety of research projects to help advance this goal, including the establishment of four national Centers of Excellence in Value Assessment.

To learn more, please visit