We will always remember Jane Reese-Coulbourne.
Jane Reese-Coulbourne changed the world of cancer by insisting that patients mattered. While cancer has taken her from us at too young an age, her impact will live on.
Before her diagnosis with breast cancer, Jane was a pioneer in another world, chemical engineering. Trained at the University of Virginia, she was soon selected to become the first female plant manager for Proctor & Gamble. Jane’s disease and her recognition that patients’ views matter led her to help create the National Breast Cancer Coalition, one of the most effective patient groups. Jane went on to serve as an advisor to Dr. Richard Klausner, the director of the National Cancer Institute. She then ran the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration at the request of Dr. Peggy Hamburg, the FDA Commissioner. Jane was most interested in the “hard stuff”, as she called it: Things like making clinical trials reflect patients’ needs; creating ways for two unapproved medicines to be trialed in combination; and searching for effective regimens for multiple drug resistant tuberculosis. Jane rose to every challenge while keeping patients front and center.
Jane was a part of MK&A twice in her life. The first time after leaving the National Breast Cancer Coalition. During that period, she helped define what we do and how we do it, while giving many companies thoughtful guidance. More recently, she helped our clients understand pre-approval drug access, where she was equally effective.
Jane’s impact extended well beyond her work while at MK&A. Today, information on clinical studies is more patient-friendly because of her. New study designs, such as TAPUR, speed drug development because of her. In short, patients and their caregivers have a seat at the table because of Jane.
For that, like you, we will always be inspired by Jane’s clarity of vision and her commitment to change that makes patients’ lives better.
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