This month, PhRMA is proud to join with our member companies to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) PRIDE Month.
The biopharmaceutical industry employs more than 140,000 employees, many of whom identify as LGBT. We are committed to inclusion for the LGBT community and are excited to show our continued support for all of our staff, member company employees and the patients we aim to help.
America’s biopharmaceutical companies are tackling some of the most complex diseases affecting the lives of patients across the country. Working together, our researchers leverage the creativity, insights and experiences of our dedicated work force to drive innovation forward for patients. Understanding the needs of a diverse patient population requires an inclusive work force that encourages diversity of thought to drive biopharmaceutical research and medical innovation. Researchers have taken diseases once considered fatal, like HIV/AIDS – a disease which has disproportionately impacted the LGBT population– and turned it into a chronic, manageable condition for those with access to life-changing anti-retroviral therapy.
Biopharmaceutical researchers are working to further transform the impact of this devastating disease, developing HIV/AIDS treatments that would increase the time between treatments, significantly improving patients’ quality of life, as well as working towards the first HIV vaccines, which could prevent disease transmission entirely. Today, there are more than 50 medicines and vaccines in development for HIV infection, treatment and prevention, and HIV-positive patients who are diagnosed and treated can now expect to live till normal life expectancy.
PhRMA and our member companies are proud to celebrate our LGBT colleagues and patients and their important contributions to the drug development process.
Andrew Powaleny is Senior Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA and leads the organization's scientific communications. Before joining PhRMA in 2015, he worked in public affairs for a small firm in Washington, DC and served as Deputy Press Secretary for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Andrew came to Washington, D.C. via Connecticut with a degree from Eastern Connecticut State University where he majored in public policy and government. Andrew is active as a runner and volunteer with the DC Front Runners; most recently serving on its Board of Directors for three years as co-race director. He is also a member of the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and mentors students through his alumni association with The Fund for American Studies. Andrew is passionate about scientific innovation, especially for mental illness, and his heroes are the men and women of America’s biopharmaceutical research companies.