Posted by: Audrey Erbes | May 11, 2013

Hazards of Weak Internet Infrastructure Plus Life Science Events

Weakness of Internet Infrastructure

After lacking access to Comcast’s fast internet since Tuesday and the accompanying stress of operating without Internet access to do my online research at my home office, I was getting paranoid about what chaos “suppression” of online access highly technology-connected professionals can cause.  I was promised a serviceman visit by 6 overseas technicians over the course of three days to no avail. The promised 3 appointments failed to occur while no notification or apology was offered. Then yesterday I was advised by recording that there was an outage in my local area and could not speak with a service representative.

I was just about to call Comcast once again this morning when I used my computer to update my Audrey’s Picks list and discovered I once again had online access. It is very distressing that a large corporation like Comcast that operates along with AT&T as seeming monopolies on fast Internet access in the Bay Area could be so callous toward the needs of their customers and seemingly unaware that they had problem with service beyond me in Silicon Valley for 4 days. This is another major infrastructure weakness that our society is suffering.  I love all the new high tech technology that allows for improved research utilizing Big Data, the cloud, online webinars and teaching, etc. but worry about the weakness of the foundation on which all this depends.

Interesting footnote to my blog last week, Judge Edward Korman in a U.S. District Court in New York denied the Department of Justice’s request for a stay of the court’s April order compelling FDA to make emergency contraceptives containing levonorgestrel available OTC without any age restrictions. The FDA approved the age at 15 years and older but with proof of age.  In a hearing on Tuesday to discuss the DoJ’s request for a stay, Judge Korman said the FDA’s decision making on this product “had been corrupted by political influence.” He compared the requirement of proof of age for emergency contraception to requirements for voting suggesting they were both a form of “suppression.”   See details in article entitled “Judge refuses to delay ruling on Plan B,” by Maggie Fox, Senior Writer, NBC News.

Upcoming Meetings This Week

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, May 12, 2013, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “Biosimilar Report Card: Learnings from Europe;” Speakers: This Week television examines the European biosimilars record with: Dr. Peter Richardson, Head of Biologicals at the European Medicines Agency and Thomas Moore, Director of Value, Access and Policy at Amgen, and EuropaBio delegate to the EC Access to Medicines working group on biosimilars
  • Merrill Data Site and California Healthcare Institute, Tuesday Morning, May 14, 2013; Topic: “Clinical Trial Communications: The Good, the Bad and the Necessary;” Speaker: Carin Canale-Theakston, President, Canale Communications Inc.
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, May 14, 2013; Topic: “Ring! Ring! FDA Calling!” Speaker: Connie Hoy, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance, Cutera. Note this is a new presentation relevant beyond medtech
  • Accretive Solutions, Wednesday Evening, May 15, 2013; Event: A Roundtable Discussion, The Sunshine Act: Moving from Darkness to Light
  • RAPS San Francisco Chapter, Friday, May 17, 2013; Topic: “QA/RA Organizational Interfaces in the Medical Device Supply Chain;” Speakers: Chris Devine, president, Devine Guidance International Inc.; Connie Hoy, vice president, RA/QA, Cutera Inc.; Roger Stern, president, Stellartech Research Corporation; Michael A. Swit, JD, special counsel FDA Law, Duane Morris LLP

Next Upcoming UC Berkeley Extension Business and Marketing Course

  • UC Berkeley Extension Intensive Course, Thursday and Friday, June 20-21, 2013; Course: “Life Science Business Development;” Instructor: Audrey S. Erbes, Ph.D., Principal, Erbes & Associates and blog; Guest Speakers: Bill McMillan, CSO, founder and owner of Profusa, Inc.; Harold (Hal) Etterman, MBA, CEO, Knight Financial Plans & Services, LLC; Carolyn Feamster, MBA, a business strategy and analysis consultant; Gilbert R. Mintz, Ph.D., President of GRM Associates; Ginger Dreger, J.D., M.S., partner in Arnold & Porter LLP; and Chris Dokomajilar, Manager, Senior Biopharma Analyst at Deloitte Recap LLC; Dates and Time: Thursday and Friday, June 20-21, 2013; 8:30 am – 5:00 pm for classroom intensive and balance of term for working on term project; Location: Downtown University of California, Berkeley Extension, 425 Market St., 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105; Fee: $895, (EDP 405118). Register at

You can download the complete list of meetings entitled Audreys picks May 12, 2013 by right clicking on the highlighted title. You can always download the list from my website at

Since I wasn’t able to research the Jobs That Crossed My Desk this week due to the Comcast outage, I cannot provide that list at this time.

Hope you had a relaxing and refreshing weekend. And Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers!




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