Newswise — The PhRMA Foundation has released its 2019 annual report, highlighting a year of activity that included updating its mission and priorities, the launch of new funding programs and an expansion of its efforts to improve the effectiveness of value assessment in health care. The report includes summaries of the ongoing work of its grant recipients, awardees, and the research institutions it supports.

The Foundation distributed a record high of more than $3.9 million in funding in 2019, distributed across 24 programs and awards.  

The Foundation’s funding programs were restructured in 2019 to better support the multidisciplinary scope of the drug development spectrum. Four new categories of funding were created, including Drug Discovery, Drug Delivery, Translational Medicine and Outcomes Research. The first recipients of funding in these new categories will be announced later in 2020 and highlighted in next year’s annual report.

The Foundation’s Value Assessment Initiative reached new levels of impact over the last year as it continued to grow, driven by the establishment of two new national Centers of Excellence, the publication of several new studies, and the hosting of a major conference in Washington, D.C. that included national value-assessment leaders.

“We are at the beginning of a new decade and a new era of possibilities in scientific innovations that can change the quality of our lives for the better,” said PhRMA Foundation Chairman Alfred W. Sandrock, MD, PhD. “The PhRMA Foundation proudly remains at the forefront of helping to build a health care ecosystem through career-starting grants and fellowships for young scientists that remain the steadfast structural component of our mission and program structure, as well as advancement of new concepts in health care value assessment.”

A major section of the report focuses on the Foundation’s Value Assessment Initiative, which seeks to achieve a greater understanding of value within the health system, including more effective means of measuring value.  Two new Centers of Excellence in value assessment were established by the Foundation in 2019 -- Pharmaceutical Value (pValue), headquartered within the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, and the Center for Enhanced Value Assessment (CEVA) which sits within the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health (CEVR) at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

In November 2019, representatives from each of the Foundation’s four Centers of Excellence joined leading health economics researchers, patient advocates and health care policy professionals at a major forum in Washington, D.C., to discuss how best to connect the latest value assessment research with practical applications for health care decision making. Hosted in partnership with the National Health Council, the event drew a wide audience from across the health policy and health economics communities.

The work of 11 researchers who received the Foundation’s Value Assessment Challenge Awards and Research Awards are also highlighted in the report. Proposals from Foundation-supported researchers to improve value assessment methods that move beyond using the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) to evaluate health care treatments were featured in a recent   special edition supplement of the American Journal of Managed Care.  

The report highlights the work and careers of two researchers who received the Foundation’s Excellence Award in 2019 — Jay Goodman, PhD and Janice B. Schwartz, MD.  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.

Dr. Goodman is an internationally known toxicology expert whose research career has focused on enhancing our understanding of how chemicals might affect human health, with a specific emphasis on the role certain substances play in cancer formation. Dr. Goodman’s research has shed light on why some chemicals cause harm and helped lay the foundation for a more rational approach to risk assessment.

Dr. Schwarz is a board-certified cardiologist and professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. For more than 40 years, Dr. Schwartz has been immersed in understanding the body’s response to drugs, particularly the impact of various medications on the autonomic nervous system and heart in older adults. Her work has greatly expanded knowledge on drug effects and interactions in the aging population, and elucidated gender differences in drug metabolism.

The report also provides summaries of the research efforts of more than 40 young scientists who received funding from the Foundation in the categories of Health Outcomes, Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, Clinical and Translational Pharmacology, Pharmacology/Toxicology, Informatics and Pharmaceutics.

“For more than 55 years, the PhRMA Foundation has contributed to the advancement of medical science and now, in a time when the world is depending on the pharmaceutical industry to find treatments and solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, our investments are more critical than ever,” said Eileen Cannon, President of the Foundation. “Our grant and award recipients are the lifeblood of tomorrow's innovations and integral to the development of the next generation of scientists.”

An electronic copy of the Foundation’s 2019 annual report is available HERE.


About the PhRMA Foundation

The mission of the PhRMA Foundation is to improve public heath by proactively investing in innovative research, education and value-driven health care. For 55 years, the Foundation has been helping advance scientific research and innovation to benefit patients. Since its founding in 1965, it has distributed more than $95 million to support these efforts. The PhRMA Foundation accomplishes its mission by investing in three key areas: core programming, value assessment initiative and a new program under development in the use and application of Data and Technology in Health Care. The PhRMA Foundation’s core programs of Drug Delivery, Drug Discovery, Health Outcomes Research and Translational Medicine encourage young scientists to pursue research as their career choice and assists in training the next generation of innovators.  The PhRMA Foundation's emphasis on evidence-based research that determines the true value of medicines is supported by its Value Assessment Initiative. To learn more, please visit