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By: Walter T. Marlowe

To advocate for something means to “support or promote the interests of a cause or group.” In the AAPS Strategic Plan we’ve committed to advocate for improving global health on behalf of pharmaceutical science and scientists. In order to do so, evidence-based science must be at the forefront of our purpose, and we must support the ability of scientists to do their job in an environment that is most conducive to success.

In a recent AAPS membership poll, 63.1% of respondents indicated that the direction of the United States’ new administration causes them concern as a pharmaceutical scientist. But what specifically is alarming them?

  • 85% are concerned or very concerned with the ability of scientists to share their knowledge. This aligns directly with AAPS’ primary goal to “Advance Scientific Discovery, Exchange, and Learning,” and it is crucial to our advancing our mission and vision.
  • 83% concerned/very concerned with Federal Hiring freezes.
  • 76% are concerned/very concerned with swapping 1 regulation with 2 in reference to FDA.

Respondents also shared their top three issues: U.S. government support for research funding; decline in scientific integrity and compromised high quality standards; and standards for the safety of drugs.

As AAPS’ Executive Director, it is my responsibility to work with the Executive Council to ensure the organization is true to its mission and core values, and serves our members. So what are we doing to address these concerns?

We collaborate with partners such as Research!America and Friends of Cancer Research, groups that focus on creating awareness of the health and economic benefits of medical research. Through our members, we respond to requests from the U.S. General Accounting Office for information on aspects of the drug development process. We continue to monitor policy and regulatory issues as they develop and provide information to members, even if we don’t take a position as an organization. And we actively share our scientific expertise on draft guidances from FDA, WHO, USP, ICH, and others to ensure that regulations are evidence-based and engage better with our membership.

Want to get involved? Help give a voice to pharmaceutical science and scientists by sharing your concerns with us, sharing your scientific expertise, and speaking up for the importance of evidence-based policymaking. Contact Stacey May, AAPS director of public outreach, at MayS@aaps.org to volunteer.

Walter T. Marlowe, M.B.A., C.A.E, is the AAPS executive director.