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News and Commentary Archive

2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006


New Rules On Doctors And Medical Firms
Devices and disclosures NYT


Drug Maker Said to Pay Ghostwriters for Journal Articles
PremPro paper trail NYT (read public documents)


Conflicts of Interest in Continuing Medical Education
CME at East Carolina U almost pharma-free Inside Higher Ed


Outsourced to India: Clinical Drug Trials
Nearly half of clinical studies off-shored St. Petersburg Times


Spinal Tap: Medtronic and a Patient Death
Devicemaker unaware of Infuse BoneGraft-related death Pharmalot


FDA’s $1.5 Million Morale Contract
Boosting job satisfaction? Bloomberg


Johnson & Johnson, Texas and Medicaid Fraud
Kickbacks to officials Pharmalot


Asthma Drugs Too Dangerous For Kids: FDA
LABAs increase deaths Pharmalot (read FDA meta-analysis)


Generic Drug Sales Are Slowing
63.7% of US market volume Pharmalot


Firms Win Victory on Doctor Gift Rules
Proposed regulation nixes research, consulting disclosures Boston Globe


Pharma Trade Group Has New DTC Guidelines
Celebrities must believe in drugs endorsed Pharmalot


Doctor Raises Concerns Over Change in Heart Devices
New design questioned NYT


AMSA Launches PharmFree.org website
New site for evidence-based prescribing AMSA (read press release)


Generic Heart Medicines Found Equal to Brand-Name Counterparts
Warfarin, other generic drugs validated Bloomberg


The Minimal Impact of a Big Hypertension Study
Lessons from ALLHAT remain unheeded NYT


Device Makers Illegally Advertise On YouTube?
Rx Project petitions FDA Pharmalot


Doctors Ditch Drug Samples to Avoid Influencing Treatment
Carolinas Med Center bans samples USAToday


Scrutiny Grows of Drug Trials Abroad
40% of studies in low-to-mid income countries WSJ


British Balance Gain Versus Cost of Latest Drugs
UK pays less for drugs than US NYT


Study: Off-label Drugs Should Be Researched For Safety
Inadequate evidence for highly prescribed drugs USAToday


Radio Host Has Drug Company Ties
NPR "Infinite Mind" psychiatrist paid $1.3 million NYT


Doctors Claim Glaxo Dismissed Worries on Avandia
Did drug maker use intimidation? WSJ (read commentary)


"World Wide Web Health Awards" Exposed as Having Ties to Pharmaceutical Industry
Rewarding biased sites? Natural News (read blog)


Which Country Spends The Most On Meds?
US pays higher retail prices Pharmalot (read report; read about the project)


Where The Boys Are: Merck, Gardasil And Warts
Evidence against cancer still lacking Pharmalot


Did Merck And CVS Violate Patient Privacy?
Letter from PBM encouraged Januvia use Pharmalot (read WSJ article)


DTC Ad Spending Is Down… And Falling Fast
Non-branded ads down 63% since 2006 Pharmalot


Actavis Sued by U.S. Regulators to Shut Heart Drug Manufacturer
Digitek form of digoxin can contain twice listed dosage Bloomberg


Merck Aims Gardasil to Women Least Likely to Benefit
Offsetting Vytorin Bloomberg (see commentary)


Gardasil Not Linked To Side Effects
CDC finds no pattern to serious adverse effects Pharmalot


Wisconsin Medical Society Discourages Gifts from Drug Firms
No speaking fees; research OK Milwaukee Sentinel


Some Scale Back on Meds
Prescriptions down 1% NYT


Some at FDA Oppose Rules Against Suing Drugmakers
Coming out against preemption AP


Novartis Trims 550 Sales Positions
More targeted sales plan PharmaExec


Half of Doctors Routinely Prescribe Placebos
Headache pills and vitamins most commonly used NYT


Prescription Drug Injuries and Deaths Reach Record Levels
4825 deaths this quarter LA Times


GSK to Publish Level of Doctors’ Advisory Fees
Cap set at $150,000 Financial Times


Study Says Drug Samples May Endanger Children
More risks than benefits? NYT (Pediatrics study)


Lilly Settlement With States Demands Even Greater Transparency
List of docs paid more than $100 required MMM


Pfizer: $900M To Settle Bextra & Celebrex Suits
Deal covers claims from 33 states and DC Pharmalot


Drug Claims Often Misleading
Making sense of health stats ABCNews (read study; editorial)


Generics Are Powerful Medicine
New website on safety & effectiveness GPM


Senator Says Emory Psychiatrist Didn't Disclose $500,000 Payment
GSK speaker promoted Paxil and Lamictil WSJ


Experts Conclude Pfizer Manipulated Studies
Spinning Neurontin NYT


33 States to Get $62 Million in Zyprexa Case Settlement
Drug marketed off-label for dementia NYT


Cephalon Pays $425 Million Over Medicaid Fraud
Off-label promotion of Actiq, Gabitril, and Provigil Pharmalot


FDA Says Cancer Test Failed to Get Its Approval
OvaSure not proven accurate NYT


Media Doesn't Often Mention Pharma Funding on Research
Brand names preferred over generic names Healthday News


DOT Ties to Sleep Aid Industry Riles Truckers
Forced use of forced-air CPAP? CSPI


Drug Firms Bankroll Attacks on NHS
In U.K., access to expensive drugs at issue The Independent


Drug Maker to Report Fees to Doctors
Lilly to post online database of payments NYT


FDA Probes Anemia Meds & Deaths In Study
Deaths in stroke patients on ESAs Pharmalot (read more)


FDA Using Pharma DTC Pro
Industry educates consumers CSPI


FDA Hires 1,300 New Doctors and Scientists
CDER pumps up AP


Looking For Published Cancer Trials? Fuggedaboutit
Only 17.6% make it to med journals Pharmalot


Drug Label, Maimed Patient and Crucial Test for Justices
Preemption favors pharma NYT


U.S. Patients and their Expensive Meds
UK spend half of U.S. Pharmagossip


FDA to Advertise Fake Blood Pressure Pill
Will study consumer responses to safety warnings Pharmalot


New GAO Report
Prescription Drugs: FDA’s Oversight of the Promotion of Drugs for Off-Label Uses GAO


Teaching Doctors—or Selling to Them?
Industry backs away from CME Businessweek


Stanford to Limit Drug Maker Financing
Read about the Stanford CME policy NYT


Amgen Alters Anemia Drug Discounts
No more Aranesp rebates NYT


Drug Giants Accused Over Doctors' Perks
Free trips for UK docs Guardian


More Controversy with Viagra ‘Advergaming’
Promotion for ED or recreational use? BNET


Merck's Marketing Project Passed Off As Research, Physicians Say
ADVANTAGE study seeded Vioxx Rxs LA Times (Annals study)


Drug Makers’ Push Leads to Cancer Vaccines’ Fast Rise
Is HPV vaccine worth its cost? NYT


Sales Reps, Doctors & ‘Emotional Connections’
Friendship sells Pharmalot


ACCME Proposes Restrictions on CME Presenters
Those who profit can’t control content CSPI (ACCME statement)


UK Health Chief: ‘Perverse Incentives’ Raise Prices
NICE fights back Pharmalot


New Therapy for Sepsis Raises Hope but Many Questions
O2 Monitor and conflicts of interest WSJ Blog


Justice Investigating Biliary Stent Sales, Marketing Practices
Abbott subpoenaed FDANews


Girls at Risk: Unparalleled Rise in Adolescent Girls Using Rx Drugs
Alliance for Human Protection (Medco press release)


Sigmund Who? Psychiatrists Writing More Scrips
Psychotherapy wanes Pharmalot


NEJM Editors File Brief Against Wyeth
Preemption case to be heard in November Bloomberg News


Why Not the Best?
U.S. Health System Scores 65 out of 100 The Commonwealth Fund (article in WP)


A Call for a Warning System on Artificial Joints
National registry needed NYT


Drugmaker Sponsors Journalism Group Seminar
Journalists get lunch from Novo and Lilly Pharmalot


Are Vaccine Defenders For Sale?
COIs in vaccine experts Pharmalot


FDA Staffers Start Dissident Website
Concerns about drug safety expressed Thoreau-FDA


Medicare Part D Was A ‘Windfall’ For Pharma
Shift from Medicaid jacks drug prices 30% Pharmalot


The Real War on Drugs
Compared to U.K., Americans pay double for drugs Pharmagossip


More Fallout for Bristol-Myers on Drug Pricing Investigation
Millions for NY, MA, other states WSJ Blog


The Pfizer Exec and the $300K Helicopter Bill
Reimbursement requested Pharmalot


NIH Researcher at Center of New Conflict Controversy
Non-disclosure on blood substitutes article WSJ


Massachusetts Gift Ban is Removed from Bill
Disclosure of payments to docs also dropped Pharmalot


Note to Pharma: 'Your House Is On Fire, and You're Still Smoking in Bed'
Tough love from PhRMA's Tauzin WSJ Blog


Merck to Begin Paying $4.85B in Vioxx Settlements
Resolves 50,000 lawsuits AP


Docs: We’ll See A Rep Any Old Time Of Day
83% see reps Pharmalot


Drugs to Build Bones May Weaken Them
Long-term bisphosphonates associated with transverse fracture NYT


Grassley Targets Brown’s Keller Over Grants
Advocated Paxil for adolescents Pharmalot


Drug Industry to Announce Revised Code on Marketing
Bans the pens, keeps the food NYT (read PhRMA press release; WSJ blog)


Psychiatric Group Faces Scrutiny Over Drug Industry Ties
30% of APA's funding from pharma NYT


Follow-up Drug Studies are Becoming More Routine
Postmarketing studies required for 75% of new drugs Boston Globe


Brazil Launches Cheap New Malaria Pill
Patent-free treatment Windsor Star


Pill-popping Pets
Reconcile, Clonicalm, and other drugs NYT


Eli Lilly Most Esteemed Pharma Company for Psychiatrists
Verispan finds Pfizer most esteemed overall MM&M


Drugmakers Offer Aid To People 'On the Edge'
Needymeds site underutilized WP


Scientific Fraud May Be More Widespread Than Thought
Poll finds few cases reported Bloomberg


Pfizer Ends Direct Funding of Courses
Nonprofit CME unaffected WSJ


Drug Makers Say FDA Safety Focus Is Slowing New-Medicine Pipeline
Pulling the plug on “big-sellers” WSJ


Senator Slaps GSK Med Ed in Letter to ACCME
Prenatal herpes testing promoted against guidelines MM&M


Glaxo Boosts Marketing of Smoking Aids Amid Pfizer Pill's Woes
Free samples go to pilots Bloomberg


Weighing the Costs of a CT Scan's Look Inside the Heart
Docs profit from overused test NYT


Implant Firms Pay Doctors Millions
51 docs paid a million each Philadelphia Inquirer


Doctors Under the Influence?
Chantix KOLs compare nicotine use to diabetes Businessweek


What Recession? Big Bonuses For FDA Brass
Some make more than $200,000 Pharmalot


Biogenerics Would Save How Much?
Try 25 billion Pharmalot


Down on the Cape
Pfizer study finds depression common BostonGlobe


Pharma to Sit on DTC Ads
Voluntary 6 month moratorium PharmExec


Generics Grab Big Share Of Medicare Part D: Study
Filling the “donut-hole” Pharmalot


Vanda Shares Slip on Sleep Drug Results
Tasimelteon no better than placebo WP


Doctors Say Medication Is Overused in Dementia
Antipsychotics do not work NYT


AMA CME Measure Goes Nowhere
Industry-free proposal tanks MM&M


KOLs: Independent Experts or Drug Representatives in Disguise?
Doctors used as product champions BMJ


Pfizer Sales Reps Downplay Chantix Side Effects
Suicide risk not mentioned Pharmalot


Amgen's Enbrel in Kids 'Concerning'-FDA Staff
Seven cancer cases, severe infections reported Reuters (article on advisory committee; FDA briefing material and other documents)


FDA Contradicts Genentech on Eye Drug
Feds not to blame for imitations on Avastin distribution WSJ


Lawsuit Over Right to DTC in Canada
Competitive disadvantage invoked DTC Perspectives


Warning on Epilepsy Drugs Nears
Suicide risk will go on label of 11 drugs WSJ


Child Experts Fail to Reveal Full Drug Pay
Harvard psychiatrist made $1.6M from drug makers NYT


New Labeling Changes for Regranex
Topical treatment for skin ulcers increases cancer mortality FDA


FDA Bars Docs From Conducting Clinical Trials
Seven this year Pharmalot


Merck's Movie "Script" For Advertising Gardasil
Vaccine ads run before “Sex in the City” CNBC


Survey of Medical Schools Is Critical of Perks
7 of 150 schools get an "A" NYT (AMSA Scorecard; press release)


FDA Panel Backs Glaxo’s Platelet Booster
Short-term ITP treatment does not affect bleeding risk Pharmalot


Sanofi-Aventis Diet Pill Linked To Deaths
Rimonabant approved in U.K., not U.S. Pharmalot


Epilepsy Drugs Draw Industry Defense
May cause suicidal tendencies WSJ


FDA: TNF Blockers May Cause Lymphoma In Kids
30 cases reported Pharmalot (read FDA investigation)


Product Placements Require New FDA Regs
Rx drugs mentioned 462 times in 2006 Pharmalot


Medicare May OK Drug Guide
Corporate ties to compendia not disclosed CSPI (read AHRQ review)


FDA to Mine Big Databases for Safety
Sentinel Initiative will do active surveillance for ADRs Pharmalot (read FDA announcement)


Report Links Pfizer Drug To Accidents, Heart Trouble
ISMP reviews Chantix ADRs WSJ


Warning Over Drug Trial’s Effects on Testing
Non-pharma Lucentis/Avastin trial worries pharma Financial Times


British Columbia's ‘Bizarre’ Task Force Report
Therapeutics Initiative threatened Pharmalot


Top 17 Paychecks in Big Pharma
FiercePharma


Glaxo 'Downplayed' Warning
Abacavir doubles MI risk Independent


Physician, Reveal Thyself
Heart stent studies don't disclose funding Businessweek (PLoS One study)


Protecting Human Subjects
US clinical trials no longer required Center for Science in the Public


FDA Slow To Issue DTCA Warnings
Ads discontinued before letters received Pharmalot (read GAO report)


Celebrex Doesn't Prevent Memory Loss
Nor does naproxen Bloomberg (Archives of Neurology study)


Pfizer to Disclose Grants
With Lilly, supports revised Sunshine Act Pharmatimes


Migraine Medicines Problematic
Associated with serotonin syndrome Bloomberg (NEJM study)


Stealth Marketers
Shilling for pharma on NPR Slate


Psychiatry Handbook Linked to Drug Industry
COIs in over half of new working group members NYT (read Center for Science in the Public Interest article)


Legislators: Glaxo Letter on Gift Ban May Backfire
Does MA have a “strong anti-biopharmaceutical streak?” Boston Herald (read additional article)


Glaxo Tries to Corner Weight Loss Market
Tells FDA to deny dietary supplement claims Pharmalot


Merck Wrote Drug Studies for Doctors
Trial deaths underreported NYT (read ghostwriting study; mortality study; JAMA editorial)


Drugmakers Didn't Begin 1,044 Promised U.S. Studies
62% of postmarketing studies Bloomberg


Many Ads For Psych Meds Are Unsubstantiated
Half of drug claims unsupported Pharmalot (read study)


Antipsychotics and Pneumonia in Elderly
60% increase; more risk with atypicals Journal of the American Geriatrics Society


AstraZeneca in Pact With Rival to Delay Generic
Ranbaxy will formulate Nexium NYT


Panel’s Bipartisan View: F.D.A. Is Underfinanced
Congress considers more funding NYT


Organon Allegedly Covered Up Raplon ADRs
Whistleblower says risks withheld from FDA Pharmalot


Heart Risk in ADHD Drugs?
AHA recommends EKGs Philadelphia Inquirer


Benefit Managers Profit by Specialty Drug Rights
PBMs build lucrative side businesses NYT


More States Consider Bans on Gifts to Physicians
Connecticut is latest Medical Marketing & Media


Device Maker Vows New Ethical Practices
Zimmer reforms Pharmalot


Global Rx Sales Grew 6.4 Percent In 2007
$178B increase over past 5 years Pharmalot


Cancer Drug Trials "Being Stopped Too Soon"
Benefits exaggerated Telegraph


Pfizer Warns of Lung Cancer with Inhaled Insulin
Warning added to Exubera label Reuters


Drug Makers Near Old Goal: A Legal Shield
Ortho-Evra and estrogen levels NYT


The Vytorin Saga Continues: Krumholz Strikes Back
“No new support for a widely prescribed drug” Pharmalot


Glaxo Angers the FDA
Ph 4 safety studies reported only to EME Motley Fool


Glaxo And Pfizer Win Preemption Cases
Federal court rules in SSRI case Pharmalot


Novartis Further Curbs Zelnorm Use in U.S.
No reason given Reuters


FDA Raises Estimate of Deaths Linked to Blood Thinner
62 deaths possible WP


Bitter Pill
Portland doc flips on pharma Willamette Week


TV Rx Ads Should Include A/E Reporting Info
One in six consumers polled experienced ADR Consumers Union (read poll results)


The Enhance Study & Slides
ACC presentation on Vytorin Pharmalot


Who Is Excluded From Clinical Trials?
Minorities, elders, disabled Pharmalot


Judge Sides With NEJM in Peer-Review Dispute
Reviewer anonymity upheld Chron Higher Ed


Do Free Gifts Dictate Your Medical Care?
Influencing docs ABCNews


Dig Deep: Those Free Samples May Cost You
“Free” samples cost patients more Pharmalot (read study)


Pfizer Is Denied Access to JAMA Files
Peer reviewers remain anonymous WSJ (read editorial; press release)


Pfizer, Glaxo Raise Prices as Drug Growth Declines
US wholesale prices up 9% Bloomberg (read AARP Rx Watchdog Report)


Cephalon CEO Tops in Pay
$13.5m; Pfizer CEO made $9.5m WSJBlog


Union Shills For Pfizer And Lipitor
IAEP sends letter to docs Pharmalot


FDA Identifies Contaminant in Heparin
Over-sulfated chondroitin adulterant WSJ


Cutting Dosage of Costly Drug Spurs a Debate
Could be effective, save $200,000 a year NYT


Drug Maker Stays Close to Doctors and Patients
Influences treatment of rare disease NYT


Corporate Influences on Epidemiology
Pushing “junk science?” International Journal of Epidemiology


CVS Settles Whistleblower Case Over Switching
Will pay $37m in Medicaid fraud lawsuit Pharmalot


Biotech Leader Charged with Fraud
Actimmune promoted off-label SF Chronicle


Generics: Just As Good?
64% of filled scripts LA Times
related stories: Keeping Generic Drugs off the Market
FDA Standards for Generics are Questioned
For Some, Generics May be More Costly


Ex-Drug Sales Rep Tells All
Befriending docs to sell drugs ABCNews


FDA Panel Backs Curbs on Anemia Drugs
FDA to reconsider ESA labeling WSJ


Senate Wants ‘49 Plan’ Papers
Zetia reps to wine and dine docs Pharmalot


Dermatologists' Seal-for-Sale Program
Is AAD a “$5 hooker”? MedPage Today


Pricey Pills Work Better Even When They're Fake
Placebo effect extends to price MSNBC (read study)


Flu Drug Makers Change Labels
750 psych AE, 25 peds deaths with Tamiflu Reuters


Novartis Opens Non-profit R&D Vaccine Center
Will have global health focus Fierce Vaccines


Inside Drugmakers' War on Fat
Race for a miracle weight-loss pill Businessweek


Oregon Docs Ban CME Funding
2nd AAFP chapter to go Pharma-free Pharmalot


Prozac Doesn't Work
Only severely depressed benefit Guardian (PLoS study)


Death Risk From Anemia Drugs
Cancer deaths up 10% with ESAs NYT


NIH Starts Lucentis, Avastin Trial
Compares drugs for AMD WSJ


FDA Approves Avastin For Breast Cancer
Lowering the bar: no survival benefit Pharmalot


FDA to Boost Oversight of Drugs
New database will list side effects WSJ


Doctors' Education
Invisible Influence by Drug Companies BMJ


Drugmakers Asked to Reveal Grants to Docs
Grassley sends letter to 15 firms USA Today


Lobbying Overview
PhRMA spends $22.7M, AMA $10.4M, Pfizer $7.2M Center for Responsive Politics (comment in Pharmagossip)


Journal Publications Are Nothing But Marketing
Half of drug firms fund articles from marketing Pharmalot


Drugmakers Could Promote Articles for Unapproved Uses
FDA softens stance Bloomberg News (FDA draft guidance and press release)


Big Pharma's Patent Headache
10 drugs to go off-patent BusinessWeek


Painkiller Patches Recalled
Duragesic leaks Boston Globe


Sloan-Kettering Booted CME To Be ‘Squeaky Clean’
No commercial support Pharmalot


Study: More Using Rx Drugs
Rates vary by state USA Today


Generics Capture 65% of U.S. Market
Branded drugs 80% of costs Bloomberg News


Did GSK Trial Data Mask Paxil Suicide Risk?
Internal memos revealing NewScientist


Soft Targets: Nurses and the Pharmaceutical Industry
Influencing nurses PLoS Med


Merck to Pay $650M in Medicaid Settlement
Overbilled for drugs WP


FDA Receives Modest Budget Boost
$2.4 billion proposed for 2009 USA Today


Diabetes Health Goes Beyond Blood Sugar
Treat hypertension and cholesterol NYT (NEJM study)


Committee Investigates Ad Tactics for Lipitor
Jarvik ads misleading? NYT


Doctors Paid to Prescribe Generic Drugs
Up to $100 per switch WSJ


Doctor Accused of Leak to Drug Maker
Pre-publication Avandia study given to GSK NYT


Building Up Docs' Marketing Resistance
Training docs to “just say no” BusinessWeek


NitroMed Halts Marketing of Drug
Bidil sales disappointing WSJ


EU Raids Drug Makers
Blocking generics Reuters UK


Drug Has No Benefit in Trial
Zetia/Vytorin flunks NYT


Bias Toward Upbeat Findings on Antidepressants
One of 3 trials not published NYT


Drug Approved. Is Disease Real?
Cymbalta for Fibromyalgia NYT


Thimerosal Not Linked to Autism
Mercury in retrograde Pharmalot (Arch Gen Psych study)


Medicare Part D Fueled By Drug Spending
18.7% increase in 2006 Pharmalot (Health Affairs abstract)


Drugs Don't Help Aggression
Attention as good as antipsychotics NYT


Is Your Doctor Giving You Placebos?
Almost half of docs admit it WSJ Blog


Surgeon Pleads Guilty to Kickbacks
Device company implicated WSJ Blog


D.C. Council Passes SafeRx Act
Drug reps must be licensed DC Council





Commentary (back to menu)


Nobel Laureate Calls for Public Funding of Drug Trials
Head-to-head comparisons urged WSJ Health Blog (read article in Health Affairs)


Absence of Evidence
Positive studies more likely to be published Economist


Deceptive Market Practices in the Marketplace of Ideas
“Think tanks” distorting health care debate Bioethics Forum


You Have Now Been Sampled
Drug rep statements are misleading Pharmagossip


FDA Puts Medical Test Subjects in Danger
Helsinki declaration abandoned The Nation


Prescription Tracking and Public Health
AMA’s PDRP inadequate JGIM


Countering the Drug Salesmen
Academic detailing bill NYT


Confidential Review--or Not?
Pfizer demands NEJM peer reviews Science


A Line Between Docs and Drugs
U Mass Memorial to ban gifts Boston Globe


Defining Pharmaceutical Innovation
Better or just newer? Open Medicine



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