Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Responsibility for a healthy world Dr. Rath Research Institute 100+ Studies Published In PubMed

The Pharmaceutical "Business with Disease"

Up to date news and comment about the "Business with Disease".

December 27, 2010

8 Professors demand independent investigation of death in clinical trial
Why the tragic case of Dna Markingson and the culpability of the University of Minnesota won't go away...
The disturbing circumstances surrounding the enrollment and subsequent suicide of Dan Markingson (2004) after he was given an experimental antipsychotic drug, Seroquel, as a test subject in AstraZeneca's CAFE trial--having been enrolled while he was hospitalized under an involuntary commitment order--are continuing to generate outrage and dismay. The case against AstraZeneca's corrupt practices is well documented in courts of law and in civil and criminal settlements with the Department of Justice: Kickbacks to physicians, rigged clinical trials in which company officials "cherry picked" the data to be disclosed while "burying" unfavorable study findings, the company's use of "smoke and mirrors" to obscure Seroquel's failed efficacy, AstraZeneca's failure to warn that Seroquel can cause diabetes and other health problems, and its illegal off-label marketing of Seroquel.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Human Research Protection (USA)

December 27, 2010

Scandal of the deadly diabetes drug subsidised by French state
French politicians of both the right and left are facing severe embarrassment and legal recriminations with the forthcoming publication of an official report on what could become the worst health scandal in the country's history.
Read article in The Independent (UK)
Comment: Despite repeated warnings from scientists around the world, a deadly pharmaceutical drug, Mediator, was prescribed to 5 million French people. Successive French health ministers ignored scientific advice that the drug – produced by the French pharmaceutical giant, Servier, a company well known for its cult of secrecy and close relations with French politicians – was at best useless, and at worst highly dangerous. In all, the drug is now suspected to have killed 2,000 people. Notably, therefore, it has emerged that French President Nicolas Sarkozy – who, in 2004, coerced the marriage between French pharmaceutical dwarf Sanofi and Swiss/German drug giant Aventis/Hoechst – previously worked for Servier as a lawyer.

December 24, 2010

1991-2010 Enormous Scale of Pharma Criminal Fraud Settlements
From 1991-2000 qui tam law suits accounted for only 9% of settlements with the government. But from 2001-2010, qui tam settlements comprised 67% of the billions in payouts.
A report by Public Citizen documents the enormous scale of pharmaceutical industry lawless activities during the past two decades--crimes that resulted in a minimum of $1 million in penalties paid to the government. Between 1991-2010, there were 165 criminal and/or civil settlements by major pharmaceutical companies comprising of $19.8 billion in penalties. Four of the world's largest drug companies--GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Schering-Plough--accounted for 53% ($10.5 billion) of penalties during these two decades.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Human Research Protection (USA)

December 21, 2010

Servier Diabetes Drug Linked To 2,000 Deaths?
Just one month after a diabetes drug called Mediator - which had been used for decades but was banned only a year ago over links to heart-valve damage - is now being linked to between 1,000 and 2,000 deaths. The tally is up considerably from approximately 500 deaths that were mentioned when French regulators first disclosed warnings just a month ago (back story).
Read article at pharmalot.com

December 21, 2010

Acid Suppressive Medication May Increase Risk of Pneumonia
Using acid suppressive medications, such as proton pump inhibitors and histamine2 receptor antagonists, may increase the risk of developing pneumonia, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Read article at sciencedaily.com

December 19, 2010

Med Schools Flunk at Keeping Faculty Off Pharma Speaking Circuit
As medical schools wrestle with how to keep drug companies from corrupting their faculties, Stanford University is often lauded for its tough stance. The school was one of the first to stop sales representatives from roaming its halls in 2006. It cut off the flow of free lunches and trinkets emblazoned with drug names. And last year, in a blow to its physicians’ wallets, Stanford banned them from giving paid promotional talks for pharmaceutical companies. One thing it didn’t do was make sure its faculty followed that rule. A ProPublica investigation found that more than a dozen of the school’s doctors were paid speakers in apparent violation of its policy—two of them earning six figures since last year.
Read article at propublica.org (USA)

December 17, 2010

What 20 Years Of Pharma Fraud Has Wrought
Once upon a time, defense contractors were considered the biggest hucksters. You know, the US Defense Department would pay $10 for a pencil. Now, though, drugmakers have surpassed every other industry when it comes to defrauding the US government, according to a new analysis by Public Citizen, which calls for stiffer penalies and increased criminal prosecution of pharma execs. The findings: Of 165 settlements comprising $19.8 billion in penalties during the past 20 years, 73 percent of the settlements and 75 percent of the penalties - representing $14.8 billion - have occurred in just the past five years. And four drugmakers - GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Merck’s Schering-Plough -accounted for 53 percent, or $10.5 billion, of all financial penalties.
Read article at pharmalot.com

December 16, 2010

Why do Americans have such poor health?
In order to understand the current status of medical care in the U.S., Canada and Europe it is vital to understand that health care in these 3 regions is nearly completely under the control of the pharmaceutical industry. All major pharmaceutical firms have interlocking boards of directors so there is no real competition among these companies. In the United States the primary function of the Federal Drug Administration is to ensure the profitability of pharmaceutical firms, chemical firms and large agricultural conglomerates.
Read article at newswithviews.com

December 16, 2010

Chantix, Prescription Drugs And Violent Acts
For years, there were contentious debates about links between certain prescription meds, notably antidepressants, and suicidal behavior. Now, the focus is turning to violent behavior directed toward others. And a new study is linking 31 widely prescribed drugs - most notably, the Chantix anti-smoking pill - with 1,527 serious acts of violence, such as physical abuse, physical assault and homicide.
Read article at pharmalot.com

December 9, 2010

New Study Shows Higher Mortality Risk at For-Profit Dialysis Chains
Patients treated at dialysis clinics run by the largest U.S. for-profit chains have a higher risk of death than patients treated by the biggest nonprofit chain, a study released today in the journal Health Services Research concludes. The outcome gaps are substantial: Patients at the largest for-profit chain were found to have a 19 percent higher risk of death than patients receiving care at the nonprofit; at the second-largest chain, the risk was 24 percent higher.
Read article at propublica.org
Comment: Dr. Rath, Dr. Niedzwiecki and our Foundation have long recognized that in the world of the pharmaceutical business with disease, the interests of patients come a very poor second behind the twin driving forces of profit and the accumulation of wealth for investors. This is why our Foundation is set up as a registered non-profit organization. Our money is used to support research work on scientifically based natural therapies and educational work about the business practices of the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical industry has nothing with which to counter the scientific strength of our independent research and the moral integrity of our non-profit status. Increasingly, therefore, it is relying on representatives in the media, in medicine and in politics to carry out shady legal tricks and well-funded public defamation campaigns with the goal of halting our progress. Ultimately, however, the pharmaceutical industry will be replaced by a New Global Healthcare System, based not on patented synthetic chemical drugs but on scientific breakthroughs in the areas of vitamin research and cellular health. Just as importantly, the practice of healthcare in this new global system will be organized to put people – not profits – first.

December 8, 2010

Johnson & Johnson Loses First Levaquin Trial
A federal court jury in Minneapolis has decided the health care giant failed to properly warn about the risk of tendon damage linked to its Levaquin antibiotic and awarded damages of $700,000 to 82-year-old John Schedin.
Read article at pharmalot.com

December 6, 2010

Serious side effects may surface long after cancer drug approval
Within 4 years of approval, 5 of 12 drugs reviewed earned a 'black box warning' from the FDA
NEW YORK — Serious and sometimes life-threatening side effects often go unreported until years after cancer drugs have been approved, Canadian researchers said Monday. Within four years of approval, five of the 12 drugs they looked at had earned a "black box warning" from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which approves new medications.
Read Reuters news report at msnbc.com
Comment: The “chemotherapy” drugs used in the treatment of cancer do kill cancer cells – but they also kill healthy cells too. That fact alone is bad enough, but it doesn’t stop there. Chemotherapy drugs are well-known to have serious side-effects, with many causing new cancers and new diseases – thus leading to the use of yet more drugs which in turn cause still further side effects. To learn the facts about chemotherapy drugs, click here.

December 5, 2010

Unearthing the 1996 Pfizer tragedy
The global outrage triggered by the 1996 trovafloxacin clinical trial tragedy, which resulted in the untimely demise of 11 voiceless children in kano at the hands of the researchers of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Incorporated is still raising more questions than answers. At the heart of the matter is government’s criminal neglect of its citizens and the ensuing inability to protect their lives and guarantee their welfare. This is reflected in the secrecy which surrounds the process through which the Federal Government has chosen to withdraw the $6billion (dollars) suit and charges initially filed against the company. As the soap-opera of a scam unfolds the arrowhead of the deal, Michael Aondoakaa, Nigeria’s erstwhile Attorney General and Minister of Justice is attempting to wash his hands, Herod-like off the money surreptitiously collected from Pfizer. Instead, he argues that the counsels who represented the Federal Government being more acquainted with the case are better placed to enlighten the public. However, on their part, both the counsels and officials of Pfizer have refused to disclose details of the deal. The terms of the settlement, they insist was covered by a ‘standard confidentiality clause.’ This, to us is reprehensible.
Read article in the Daily Independent (Nigeria)

December 3, 2010

Anti-epileptic drug 'doubles spina bifida risk in babies'
Epileptic women who take a popular drug to control their fits during pregnancy are more than twice as likely to give birth to a baby with spina bifida as those that don't, research shows. Those who took carbamazepine during the first three months of pregnancy were 2.6 times more likely to give birth to a baby with spina bifida, than those who took no anti-epileptic drug, the pan-European study of 98,000 births of babies with major defects found.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

November 30, 2010

AstraZeneca cancer drug carries toxic risks: FDA
An experimental drug developed by AstraZeneca to treat a rare form of thyroid cancer carries "substantial toxicity" risks, the US Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday. Thirty-one percent of patients taking the drug, vandetanib, experienced serious side effects compared to 13 percent who did when taking a placebo. Side effects included a potentially dangerous skin rash known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, strokes and lung disease.
Read article at physorg.com

November 30, 2010

Tricyclic Antidepressants Associated With Increased Cardiovascular Risk
A large population-based study has shown a link between tricyclic antidepressant medications and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, adding to a growing body of evidence that the medications carry cardiovascular risks – both for people with and without existing disease.
Read article on the Internal Medicine News website

November 29, 2010

US lethal injection drug faces UK export restrictions
Business Secretary Vince Cable has restricted the export of a drug used to execute prisoners in the United States. The decision, which reverses the UK government's previous position, came amid a legal battle over sodium thiopental manufactured in Europe. Mr Cable's lawyers had told the High Court they couldn't stop exports because the drug had legitimate uses. However, he changed that position after seeing evidence that the drug was only being exported for use on death row.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)
Comment: Whilst the legal action before the British courts has not definitively established the source of the sodium thiopental being exported to the U.S. for use in executions, U.S. officials have now admitted they obtained it from Britain. Thus far, however, they have refused to explain precisely how it got to the U.S. or who supplied it to them. Significantly, therefore, in California, a San Francisco judge has now ordered state officials to explain how they obtained fresh stocks of sodium thiopental given that is no longer available in the U.S. With the pharmaceutical industry already having been proven to have supplied the chemicals that killed tens of thousands of prisoners at the Auschwitz WWII concentration camp, it is high time that all modern-day drug companies selling drugs for use in executions are publicly exposed.

November 24, 2010

Pfizer Loses Appeal of $58 Million Prempro Jury Award
Pfizer Inc. doesn’t deserve a new trial in a Nevada case over the company’s menopause drugs and must pay a $57.6 million jury award to three women who alleged the pills caused their cancers, the state’s highest court ruled. The Nevada Supreme Court concluded today that jurors properly held Pfizer’s Wyeth unit responsible for hiding the breast-cancer risks of its Premarin and Prempro menopause drugs.
Read article at Bloomberg.com

November 23, 2010

$12.6M awarded in drug case
Bone drug caused woman's jaw to disintegrate, jury says
A Mount Pleasant lawyer won $12.6 million in damages for the estate of a North Carolina woman whose jaws disintegrated while taking a bone-strengthening drug -- a side effect its manufacturer hid from consumers to protect sales, a jury ruled in federal court Monday. At least two similar cases involving the drugs Aredia and Zometa, manufactured by Switzerland-based pharmaceutical giant Novartis, are expected to be tried in South Carolina by the end of next year, attorney Vernon Glenn said. Clients from the Upstate and Midlands who have taken the drug also have suffered broken jawbones, he said. Hundreds of similar cases have been filed nationwide, he said.
Read article in The Post and Courier (USA)

November 19, 2010

15 Dangerous Drugs Big Pharma Shoves Down Our Throats
In the pharmaceutical industry’s rush to get drugs to market, safety usually comes last. And the public suffers.
In the pharmaceutical industry’s rush to get drugs to market, safety usually comes last. Long studies to truly assess a drug's risks just delay profits after all -- and if problems do emerge after medication hits the market, settlements are usually less than profits. Remember, Vioxx still made money. The following drugs are so plagued with safety problems, it is a wonder they’re on the market at all. It's a testament to Big Pharma's greed and our poor regulatory processes that they are.
Read article at alternet.org

November 19, 2010

Drugmaker pulls painkillers from US market over heart risks
Drugmaker Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed Friday to pull two of its painkillers, Darvon and Darvocet, from the US market over heart risk concerns, the US Food and Drug Administration said. Similar withdrawals from the market of the drug also known as propoxyphene were recommended in Europe in 2009 and are already under way. "The FDA sought market withdrawal of propoxyphene after receiving new clinical data showing that the drug puts patients at risk of potentially serious or even fatal heart rhythm abnormalities," the agency said.
Read article at physorg.com

November 19, 2010

Heart drug raises questions
Report links Multaq with 387 reports of adverse effects
A heart drug that was the subject of a Journal Sentinel investigative report earlier this year has been linked to an increasing number of adverse side effects, according to an analysis by a watchdog group that monitors medication errors and drug use in the U.S. The drug Multaq, or dronedarone, was associated with cases of heart failure, lethal irregular heart beats, problematic interactions with other drugs and impaired kidney function in a report released earlier this month by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. "We have seldom seen a drug with so many issues in so many areas of its safety profile," the report said. Since the drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2009, Multaq has been linked to 387 reports of adverse events, including 24 deaths, the report said.
Read article in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (USA)

November 17, 2010

Bid to ban export of 'execution' drug
An attempt will be made at the High Court today to prevent a British company exporting a drug which could be used in the execution of US prisoners. Solicitors representing two clients on Death Row and human rights group Reprieve are challenging Business Secretary Vince Cable's refusal to ban the overseas sale of sodium thiopental. The strong painkiller is given as the first of a cocktail of three drugs used in US state lethal injections. London-based solicitors firm Leigh Day & Co, acting for prisoners Edmund Zagorski and Ralph Baze, argue that Mr Cable's refusal was wrong in law. Leigh Day says the case arises from the state execution in Arizona of Jeffrey Landrigan on October 25.
Read article in The Independent (UK)
Comment: Archimedes Pharma, a British pharmaceutical company, is suspected to be the source of the sodium thiopental used in the execution of death-row prisoners in the US. Despite being fully aware of this, Vince Cable, the UK government’s Business Secretary, has steadfastly refused to use his powers under the UK’s Export Control Act to place an immediate ban on it being sold to the US for use in executions. As such, with the pharmaceutical industry already having been proven to have supplied the chemicals that killed tens of thousands of prisoners at the Auschwitz WWII concentration camp, some might argue that these and other possible links between the modern-day industry and executions are anything but surprising.

November 16, 2010

U.S. Scientists Commit Most Research Fraud: Study
A new study finds that nearly 800 research papers were retracted by medical journals for serious errors or faked data over the past decade, many of them authored by U.S. researchers.
Read article at medicinenet.com

November 16, 2010

Diabetes drug may have killed 500 in France: authorities
French health authorities sounded an alert Tuesday to patients who took a diabetes drug believed to have killed 500 people over three decades in France before it was banned last year. Drug safety body Afssaps urged patients who used Mediator, a drug for overweight people with diabetes that was also used as an appetite suppressant, to see their doctors if they had taken it for more than three months. "Analyses by expert epidemiologists estimate that about 500 deaths could be attributable to benfluorex," Mediator's active ingredient, since its launch in France in 1976, Afssaps said in a statement.
Read article at physorg.com

November 15, 2010

Prescribed medicines are responsible for over 3 percent of road traffic crashes in France
To mark The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, which takes place on Sunday November 21st, PLoS Medicine publishes two research articles on Road Traffic Crashes.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: One of the research articles, published in this week's PLoS Medicine, found that the use of prescription drugs is associated with a substantial number of road traffic crashes in France. Providing strong evidence for the contribution of various drugs to the risk of experiencing a road traffic crash, the study’s authors state that a follow-up study is needed to evaluate the impact of a warning labeling system on road traffic crash prevention.

November 15, 2010

A Scandal In The UK Over Benzodiazepines
Back in 1982, the UK’s Medical Research Council agreed that large studies should examine the long-term impact of benzodiazepines after research showed brain shrinkage in some patients that was similar to the effects of long-term alcohol abuse. But newly uncovered documents indicate studies were never begun and docs continued writing millions of scrips annually for such drugs as Valium, Mogadon and Librium. Today, there are an estimated 1.5 million “involuntary addicts” in the UK, and many display symptoms consistent with brain damage. The documents, which were marked “closed until 2014″, do not make clear why a study was not begun and the Department of Health has no record of the meeting, according to The Independent, which obtained the documents.
Read article at pharmalot.com

November 13, 2010

Medical Journals Complicit in Corruption of Medicine
A growing number of prominent physician-scientists, including several former journal editors, and New York Times columnists, have written sobering critiques about the corrupting impact pharmaceutical industry influence has had on medicine. That influence has debased the integrity of medical research, clinical practice and medicine's institutions.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Human Research Protection (USA)

November 10, 2010

Novartis’ ‘smart-pill’ may be ‘watching you’ by 2012
Novartis says it plans to submit its microchip containing ‘smart-pill’ technology to European regulators within 18 months. The silicon and metal digestible sensor within the tablet, which is activated by stomach acid upon ingestion, is able to transmit data via wireless and Bluetooth connections to a patch worn by the patient, and from there, to a smartphone or a doctor’s computer.
Read article at in-pharmatechnologist.com
Comment: The pharmaceutical industry portrays itself as an industry fighting to prevent and eliminate diseases but, behind the pretext of this noble cause, it is demanding blind obedience from hundreds of millions of patients. As with the breath-monitoring device developed by researchers at the University of Florida and Xhale, some might argue that one of the long-term goals with these so-called “smart pills” could possibly be to force patients into taking patented chemical drug medicines by nullifying their medical and/or life insurance if it is discovered they have discontinued them.

November 10, 2010

Research strengthens evidence of link between paracetamol use in pregnancy and childhood asthma
Evidence suggesting that the risk of childhood asthma associated with prenatal paracetamol exposure may depend on antioxidant genes in the mother has been found by a team of UK scientists. The results of their study - which strengthens the argument for a causal link between paracetamol exposure in early life and later childhood asthma - are published online (10 November) in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Read article at physorg.com

November 9, 2010

Glaxo Failed to Warn About Paxil Risks, Lawyer Says at Philadelphia Trial
GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the U.K.’s largest drugmaker, failed to properly warn consumers that its antidepressant drug Paxil could cause birth defects, a lawyer for the family of an injured teenager told jurors. Glaxo had research from the 1980s showing Paxil caused deaths among the offspring of animal test subjects and didn’t provide clear warnings about the deaths, Kimberly Baden, a lawyer for Anna Blyth and her family, told a Philadelphia jury today. Baden said the drug caused a narrowing of the aorta leading from the heart of Anna, now 14 years old.
Read article at Bloomberg.com

November 9, 2010

U.S. doctors still too cozy with drug industry: report
Doctors in the United States are still too cozy with drug companies, although they have managed to break some of those ties, U.S. researchers said on Monday. The team at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital did a national survey of 1,900 primary care doctors in 2009 about their contacts with drug companies. They found 84 percent reported some type of relationship with drug companies, compared with 94 percent in 2004.
Read news report at reuters.com

November 8, 2010

Painkillers 'risky in pregnancy'
Prolonged use of paracetamol and other painkillers during pregnancy may pose a health risk to baby boys, warn experts. Research suggests the drugs increase the risk of undescended testicles in male babies, a condition linked to infertility and cancer in later life. Doctors already advise pregnant women to avoid taking painkillers if possible to protect their unborn child. Experts said the Human Reproduction journal findings warranted further research "as a matter of priority".
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

November 7, 2010

Drugs linked to brain damage 30 years ago
MPs and campaigners predict class action after failures to mount full-scale research into warnings left millions of patients at risk
Secret documents reveal that government-funded experts were warned nearly 30 years ago that tranquillisers that were later prescribed to millions of people could cause brain damage. The Medical Research Council (MRC) agreed in 1982 that there should be large-scale studies to examine the long-term impact of benzodiazepines after research by a leading psychiatrist showed brain shrinkage in some patients similar to the effects of long-term alcohol abuse. However, no such work was ever carried out into the effects of drugs such as Valium, Mogadon and Librium – and doctors went on prescribing them to patients for anxiety, stress, insomnia and muscle spasms.
Read article in the Independent on Sunday (UK)

November 1, 2010

Novartis Officials Hid Bone Drugs' Risks, Lawyer Tells Jurors
Novartis AG officials downplayed risks that the drugmaker’s bone-strengthening medicines Aredia and Zometa could destroy patients’ jaws, a lawyer for a woman suing the company told a North Carolina jury. Officials of the Basel, Switzerland-based drug company got reports from doctors as early as 2002 that Rita Fussman and other cancer patients taking Aredia and Zometa to prevent bone loss during treatment suffered irreplaceable jawbone damage, Bob Germany, a lawyer for Fussman’s family, said in opening statements in a trial over the medicines.
Read article at Bloomberg.com

November 1, 2010

Medical Journals Have Their Own Conflicts Of Interest
Much attention has been paid to conflicts of interest relating to the pharmaceutical industry, but where do medical journals fit in this equation? A new study notes that journals also have vested interests that warrant disclosure. Specifically, industry-supported clinical trials can boost a journal’s so-called impact factor by generating greater distribution of reprints that increase citation rates and, of course, revenue. The trials are often supported by drugmakers, which purchase reprints.
Read article at pharmalot.com

October 31, 2010

The Starfield revelation, revisited
In the summer of the year 2000, it was a bolt out of the blue. The revelation. I come back to it for various reasons—this time because I’ve been reading doctors’ attacks on the nutritional industry: “fraudulent claims, quackery, unproven science, theft.” You’ve heard all the accusations. It’s interesting that these doctors don’t bother to examine their own profession. If they did, they would fall through the deep hole, and they might never find their way back to the top. On July 26, 2000, Dr. Barbara Starfield published her landmark study, “Is US Health Really the Best in the World?” in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). At the time, Starfield was working at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She still is. She is, as you can see, an insider. You don’t have your papers published in JAMA if you’re not. Among her findings? The annual figure for deaths caused by medical drugs in the US is 106,000.
Read blog entry by Jon Rappoport at wordpress.com

October 29, 2010

U.S. Says Genes Should Not Be Eligible for Patents
Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on Friday that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry. The new position was declared in a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Department of Justice late Friday in a case involving two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. “We acknowledge that this conclusion is contrary to the longstanding practice of the Patent and Trademark Office, as well as the practice of the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies that have in the past sought and obtained patents for isolated genomic DNA,” the brief said.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)
Comment: The U.S. federal government should be applauded for taking this important position against the multi-trillion dollar “business with disease.” The human genome − the blueprint of life and the biological basis of our existence − belongs to all mankind. Efforts to own this genetic code with the goal to re-build, sell and manipulate the human body or parts of it for corporate gain, should therefore be prohibited.

October 28, 2010

British company link to drug used in execution
The suspected source of the drug used in the execution of death-row prisoners in the US has been identified as a British company in Berkshire. Archimedes Pharma – which is based in Reading and describes itself as a "fast-growing specialty pharmaceutical business marketing a portfolio of products to specialist prescribers" – confirmed last night that it did produce the drug sodium thiopental. But it denied it was involved in the export of the drug to the United States. The company's directors are now under pressure to disclose the identity of all third parties that may have supplied the state of Arizona, which yesterday used a lethal injection to put to death the convicted murderer Jeffrey Landrigan.
Read article in the Independent (UK)
Comment: Nuremberg Pharma Tribunal records clearly show that the deadly medical experiments conducted in Auschwitz and other WWII concentration camps were contracted by the pharmaceutical divisions of IG Farben Cartel members Bayer and Hoechst. The “drugs” injected into tens of thousands of innocent inmates were previously untested chemicals patented by Bayer and other IG Farben firms. Most of the victims died during these cruel experiments. Those who survived were frequently sent to the gas chambers. Even the pellets for the gassing – Zyklon B – were provided by subsidiaries of IG Farben. As such, viewed in this historical light, some might argue that suspected links between the modern-day pharmaceutical industry and the supply of drugs used to execute prisoners are anything but surprising.

October 21, 2010

Glaxo Receives Federal Subpoena About Avandia
The ongoing controversy over the Avandia diabetes pill - specifically, whether GlaxoSmithKline properly disclosed clinical trial data and its related marketing efforts - has prompted the US Department of Justice to issue a subpoena to the drugmaker. At the same time, several state attorneys general offices have issued Civil Investigative Demands.
Read article at pharmalot.com

October 21, 2010

Taken together, HIV antiviral drugs Invirase and Norvir could cause lethal heart problems, FDA warns
The Food and Drug Administration has amped up warnings on the label of the commonly prescribed HIV antiviral Invirase, adding information about potentially life-threatening cardiac side effects when used in tandem with Norvir, another widely used antiviral.
Read article in the Los Angeles Times (USA)

October 20, 2010

Docs Should Avoid Company Info: Study
Does information provided by drugmakers to doctors result in higher prescribing frequency, higher costs and lower prescribing quality? This is not a new issue, of course, but a new study that attempted to quantify patterns says the answer is yes. And the researchers came to this conclusion by scouring 58 studies in several countires that examined a variety of company contact. This included visits by sales reps, journal advertisements, attendance at pharmaceutical sponsored meetings, information that was mailed to docs, prescribing software, and participation in sponsored clinical trials. The outcomes measured were quality, quantity, and cost of physician prescribing, according to the new study published in PLoS Medicine. The bottom line: the researchers found that docs who accepted meetings, briefings or other info from drugmakers were more likely to prescribe those products.
Read article at pharmalot.com

October 19, 2010

When big pharma breaks the law, prosecute the CEO
Patient safety will remain at risk until big pharma's top executives are brought to book for their companies' actions, says Paul Thacker.
Read article in New Scientist magazine

October 19, 2010

Drug companies pay 17,000 U.S. doctors, report finds
More than 17,000 doctors and other healthcare providers have taken money from seven major drug companies to talk to other doctors about their products, a joint investigation by news organizations and non-profit groups found. More than 380 of the doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other professionals took in more than $100,000 in 2009 and 2010, according to the investigation released on Tuesday. The report said far more doctors are likely to have taken such payments, but it documented these based on information from seven drugmakers.
Read news report at reuters.com

October 18, 2010

Study Shows HRT Even Riskier Than Thought
Latest analysis finds combo of estrogen/progestin upped chances of more deadly breast cancer
Not only does prolonged use of hormone replacement therapy raise the risk of breast cancer, new research finds, but it also ups the risk for more severe forms of the disease and increases a woman's chances of dying.
Read article at msn.com

October 18, 2010

Swine flu jab linked to rare nerve disease
Health watchdogs have admitted for the first time that there may be a possible link between the swine flu jab and an increased risk of developing a rare nerve disease. Experts are carrying out studies to examine a possible association between the vaccine and Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a condition which attacks the nervous system and can cause paralysis and even death. The authorities have always denied any link although it had been suggested a previous swine flu vaccine had caused cases of the disease in America in the 1970s.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

October 15, 2010

Antibiotic Use Linked To Higher Breast Cancer Risk
After reviewing a number of published studies, researchers from the University of Athens in Greece concluded that antibiotics use appears to be linked to a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.
Read article at medicalnewstoday.com

October 15, 2010

Warning over giving cough syrups to children
Children under 18 should not be given cough syrups containing codeine, drugs regulators have warned, in a further clampdown on over-the-counter drugs. There is no evidence these syrups help children with a cough and the unpredictable side effects of codeine means they should not be used in under 18s, the UK drugs regulator has said. Codeine can be addictive and different people react differently to it with side effects including restlessness or excitation, feeling sick, vomiting, constipation, decreased or lack of appetite, feeling tired or sleeping for longer than normal, and shallow or slow breathing.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

October 13, 2010

FDA warns of fractures with osteoporosis drugs
Government health officials warned doctors and patients Wednesday about an increased risk of thigh fractures with a widely used group of bone-strengthening drugs. The Food and Drug Administration said patients taking bisphosphonate drugs such as Fosamax and Boniva appear more likely to suffer a rare type of fracture of the femur.
Read article at physorg.com

October 13, 2010

Pfizer depression drug ineffective, pose health threats: study
Drug maker, Pfizer's antidepressant reboxetine, comes as an "ineffective and potentially harmful" drug and the data presented on the same states that the drug does not live up to the promised standards, claims German researchers. The study published in the British Medical Journal, involved researchers from the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) who stated that approximately three quarters of the data on patients which involved the trials of reboxetine has not been released as of now.
Read article at frenchtribune.com

October 7, 2010

Actelion Pharma Failed To Report 3,500 Deaths
During an inspection of Actelion Pharmaceuticals offices in the summer of 2009, the FDA found the drugmaker was repeatedly failing to follow proper procedures for reporting adverse events and, as a result, about 3,500 patient deaths were never filed with the agency.
Read article at pharmalot.com

October 6, 2010

IMS Health Forecasts Global Pharmaceutical Market Growth of 5-7 Percent in 2011, Reaching $880 Billion
The value of the global pharmaceutical market is expected to grow 5-7 percent in 2011, to US$880 billion, compared with a 4-5 percent pace this year, according to IMS Health.
Read press release on the IMS Health website
Comment: With the drug industry’s annual global sales now approaching 1 trillion dollars, there can be no doubt that the whole of humanity is being held to ransom. It is worth remembering this the next time someone asks you to donate money to a charity for research into new drug treatments for cancer and other chronic diseases. After all, with astronomical sales figures like these, the pharmaceutical industry is clearly not short of funds for research. To learn the facts about the drug industry – and understand why it constitutes the largest fraud in the history of mankind – click here.

October 2, 2010

Science for Sale: Protect Yourself From Medical Research Deception
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found over 40 percent of the best designed, peer-reviewed scientific papers published in the world's top medical journals misrepresented the actual findings of the research. The "spin doctors" writing the papers found a way to show treatments worked, when in fact, they didn't.
Read article in The Huffington Post (USA)
Comment: As this article points out, academic medical research has become corrupted by drug industry money and special interests. Similarly, government regulators, rather than dealing with this problem, see the interests of corporate multinationals as being more important than those of the public. Meanwhile, at the global level, to protect the “business with disease,” international bodies such as the UN’s Codex Alimentarius Commission are clandestinely engaging in the control and denial of science and are treating natural, non-patentable therapies as an enemy to drug industry profits. To protect yourself from these deceptions and learn the facts about natural therapies, click here and here.

October 2, 2010

U.S. admits its scientists infected Guatemalans with syphilis
Exposing a dark page in its history, the U.S. government acknowledged Friday that its scientists had infected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis in experiments conducted from 1946 to 1948 in "appalling violations" of medical ethics.
Read article on the St. Louis Today website (USA)
Comment: For anybody who has innocently been assuming that criminal experiments conducted by or on behalf of the pharmaceutical, chemical and weapons industries had ceased after those carried out by the IG Farben cartel during WWII, the above story provides definitive proof that this is not in fact the case. Worse still, nor is this latest example even an isolated incident. Between 1932 and 1972, for example, in the notorious “Tuskegee Experiment”, U.S. Public Health Service doctors secretly enticed around 400 poor black men into a study whose aim, unknown to the participants, was to observe the natural progression of untreated syphilis. For 40 years, the men were deliberately never told they had syphilis and were never treated for it. Similarly, in South-West England, scientists from Porton Down sprayed toxic chemicals into the air around Bristol in the early 1960s to analyze how they dispersed, with passers-by and lunchtime shoppers knowingly being exposed and used as guinea pigs. In other tests, British soldiers recruited as volunteers to test "cold remedies" at Porton Down were instead given forms of the sarin nerve agent developed by the Nazis in World War II. To help put a stop to current examples of such deceptions, such as the Pharma Cartel's AIDS Genocide, please support the Call for a Second Nuremberg Tribunal.

October 1, 2010

Female sexual dysfunction 'was invented by drugs industry'
Female sexual dysfunction – which is claimed to affect up to two thirds of women – is a disorder invented by the pharmaceutical industry to build global markets for drugs to treat it, it is claimed today. Drug companies have invested millions in the search for a female equivalent of Viagra, so far without success. But while doing so they have stoked demand by creating a buzz around the disorder they have created, according to Ray Moynihan, a lecturer at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Corporate employees worked with medical opinion leaders, ran surveys aimed at portraying the problem as widespread and helped create the diagnostic instruments to persuade women that their sexual difficulties deserved a medical label.
Read article The Independent (UK)
Comment: Research published in 2008 in the peer-reviewed journal Public Library of Science Medicine showed that U.S. pharmaceutical companies spend almost twice as much on marketing and promoting drugs than on research and development.

September 23, 2010

Glaxo’s Avandia to Be Pulled in EU, Restricted in U.S.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Avandia, once the world’s best-selling diabetes drug, will be withdrawn in Europe and restricted in the U.S. after a three-year review of the medicine’s heart risks. Glaxo said it will stop promoting the drug in all countries after the decisions announced today by the European Medicines Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Read article at businessweek.com
Comment: According to a U.S. Senate committee report released in February 2010, Avandia is linked with tens of thousands of heart attacks and drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline knew of the risks for years but worked to keep them from the public. The 334-page report also criticized the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, saying that it overlooked or overrode safety concerns found by its staff.

September 23, 2010

Novartis Hid Health Risks of Bone Drugs, Lawyer Tells Jury in New Jersey
Novartis AG officials hid the health risks of the drugmaker’s bone-strengthening medicines Aredia and Zometa, which a woman says destroyed her jaw, a lawyer told a New Jersey jury. Novartis executives knew as early as 2002 that Jane Bessemer and other cancer patients taking Aredia and Zometa to slow bone loss during treatment may suffer irreplaceable jawbone damage, Bob Germany, a lawyer for the plaintiff, said in opening statements in the trial of Bessemer’s lawsuit over the medicines. Bessemer and other patients wouldn’t have suffered disfiguring injuries if officials of Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis “had told the public what they knew” about the drugs’ risks, Germany told jurors in New Brunswick, New Jersey, today.
Read article at Bloomberg.com

September 22, 2010

Antipsychotic drugs 'appear to raise blood clot risk'
Antipsychotic drugs taken by thousands in the UK raise the risk of dangerous blood clots, scientists believe. The latest research, published in the British Medical Journal, provides the strongest evidence yet of a link. People given antipsychotics in the past two years had a third greater risk of clots like deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

September 14, 2010

Bone-Loss Drugs Linked to Higher Risk of Uncommon Thigh Break, Report Says
Drugs to prevent bone loss, including Merck & Co.’s Fosamax, Roche Holding AG’s Boniva and Novartis AG’s Reclast, may be linked to an increased risk of fractures to the thigh bone, researchers said. As many as 94 percent of 310 patients who had an uncommon type of fracture to the thigh bone were also taking one of the bone-loss drugs called bisphosphonates, according a report released today by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
Read article at bloomberg.com

September 14, 2010

Study links Voltaren to strokes
There are calls today for one of Australia's top-selling painkillers to be banned, after another study linked it to an increased chance of stroke in healthy people.
Commonly sold as Voltaren, diclofenac is available in a number of brands and is as dangerous as the arthritis drug Vioxx, according to the author of the study.
Read article on the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

September 10, 2010

Peril of sleeping pill: Research shows tablets lower life expectancy
Research has revealed the peril of the sleeping pill, with those taking tablets a third more likely to die prematurely than those who drift off unaided.
Read article on the Metro online website (UK)

September 8, 2010

Wyeth And Its Ghostwriting Practices
Two years ago, an investigation disclosed that Wyeth used a ghostwriting firm to generate material used to promote its hormone replacement therapies. By then, of course, the meds were linked to breast cancer in the 2002 Women’s Health Initative study. But the disclosure prompted a US Senate probe and has since been widely cited as an instance in which pharmaceutical marketing corrupted the process by which legitimate medical info is supposed to be disseminated (background). But just how extensive was the Wyeth ghostwriting? Well, between 1997 and 2003, a firm hired by Wyeth called DesignWrite generated more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, more than 50 scientific abstracts and posters, journal supplements, internal white papers, slide kits, and symposia to promote its Premarin and Prempro meds. There were other firms, but DesignWrite was used most often and was paid between $20,000 and $25,000 for each of 20 review articles (you can read the publication plan for low-dose Prempro here, for instance).
Read article at pharmalot.com

September 6, 2010

Diabetes drug with heart attack link 'should never have been issued'
'British Medical Journal' says Avandia should be withdrawn from the UK market.
One of the world's biggest-selling drugs for diabetes should never have been licensed and should now be withdrawn, says the British Medical Journal. It says its investigation into concerns about the drug, Avandia, made by British multinational GlaxoSmithKline, which has been linked with increased heart attacks, are too great to allow its continued use. The BMJ claims that the UK drug regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority, was advised by the Commission on Human Medicines to withdraw the drug last July, but it remains on the market because the European Medicines Agency, which licenses drugs across Europe, has yet to reach a decision on Avandia, whose chemical name is rosiglitazone.
Read article in The Independent (UK)

September 3, 2010

Osteoporosis drug 'doubles cancer risk'
A drug taken by more than a million people with osteoporosis could double their risk of developing cancer of the oesophagus, according to a study published today. Those who have taken oral bisphosphonates for five years or more are twice as likely to develop the cancer than those who have not, the analysis of medical records found.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 3, 2010

Half Of Americans Are Taking Prescription Meds
More than 48 percent of all Americans took at least one prescription drug each month in 2008, which amounts to a 10 percent increase over the previous decade, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the use of multiple prescription meds rose by 20 percent, while the use of five of more drugs increased by 70 percent. In fact, one out of every five Americans was using five or more drugs by 2008, and one out of every five children used at least one prescription med compared with nine out of 10 adults aged 60 and over. Children up to age 11 were using penicillin and drugs for asthma and allergies, while adolescents were taking meds for asthma, depression and ADD (please click on this link) to see the charts.
Read article at pharmalot.com

August 31, 2010

The great cholesterol myth
Cholesterol guidelines have been created to increase pharmaceutical profits, not to improve peoples' health. I know from my experience as a pharmaceutical sales representative for a statin drug. We were trained to emphasize to physicians the new lower LDL guidelines that were ostensibly created by health experts. The truth is the majority of the experts who created the lower guidelines have multiple financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. One expert was found to have ties to ten drug firms. There is no research that supports the assumption that lower LDL cholesterol reduces cardiovascular events or death in people who have do not already have heart disease. Statins do not prevent heart disease, but that is the myth that the drug companies have made billions of dollars from for more than 20 years. The lower guidelines simply created a larger lasso to rope more people into buying statin drugs.
Read article by K.L. Carlson at opednews.com
Comment: The pharmaceutical industry’s entire multi-billion dollar cholesterol business is built on fear – the fear that cholesterol causes heart attacks. While this scare has become a gold mine for the drug makers, the economic burden of this business is ultimately carried by us, the people. To learn the facts about statins, click here. To learn how, in reality, coronary heart disease occurs for precisely the same reason that clinical (early) scurvy does – a deficiency of vitamin C in the cells composing the artery wall – click here.

August 30, 2010

Research Integrity: Don't Mess With the DSMB
An editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine, by its editor Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D., and Alastair J.J. Wood, M.D. calls attention to the fact that pharmaceutical companies have tampered with the independent function of the DSMB (data safety monitoring board), and have planted promotional reports in the NEJM - and other scientific journals - thereby undermining the integrity of "the whole clinical-trial enterprise."
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP) (USA)

August 26, 2010

America’s mental illness epidemic: It turns out that the drugs are the problem
Tens of millions of innocent, unsuspecting Americans, who are mired deeply in the mental “health” system, have actually been made crazy by the use of or the withdrawal from commonly-prescribed, brain-altering, brain-disabling, indeed brain-damaging psychiatric drugs that have been, for many decades, cavalierly handed out like candy -- often in untested and therefore unapproved combinations of drugs -- to trusting and unaware patients by equally unaware but well-intentioned physicians who have been under the mesmerizing influence of slick and obscenely profitable psychopharmaceutical drug companies, a.k.a. BigPharma.
Read article by Gary G. Kohls, MD, at onlinejournal.com

August 23, 2010

European Patient Groups, Pharma And Financing
Given that patient and consumer groups are increasingly involved in as stakeholders and experts in management and scientific committees at the European Medicines Agency, one activist group decided to survey corporate sponsorship and compliance with disclosure requirements. Health Action International canvassed 23 groups, including those concerned with AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and diabetes, to gauge financial ties between 2006 and 2008. Here is the study and this is what was found: Two-thirds of the groups working with the EMA received partial or significant funding from drugmakers or industry associations. All in all, 15 organizations received between 0.2 percent and 99 percent of their annual income from corporate sources, while seven were funded entirely from alternative sources.
Read article at pharmalot.com
Comment: The average donation per sponsored organization rose from 185,500 euros in 2006 to 282,090 euros in 2007, and to 321,230 euros in 2008. Notably, therefore, in a classic case of understatement, Health Action International concludes that the European Medicines Agency “appears to have failed” in monitoring and enforcing its own guidelines on financial transparency.

August 19, 2010

10 Years Later, Glaxo Still Haunted by Faked Studies of Paxil in Kids
A crooked doctor who faked data in a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) study of the antidepressant Paxil in children pled guilty to criminal charges today, causing groans among GSK’s senior management as the company hopes to fend off a different criminal investigation into whether it manipulated clinical data on its diabetes drug, Avandia. She was sentenced to 13 months in prison. The two cases are technically completely separate, but they’re both about data manipulation. GSK has been accused of sitting on data showing risks on both drugs; and the FDA previously shut down one of GSK’s factories where both drugs were made.
Read blog entry by Jim Edwards on the CBS Interactive Business Network website

August 17, 2010

Five out of six new prescription drugs don't work, doctor claims
Five out of six approved drugs offer "few if any new benefits" to patients, according to a leading critic of the pharmaceutical industry. Large firms hyped-up patented medicines, spent vast amounts on getting doctors to prescribe them and underplayed serious side effects, said Prof Donald Light, a sociologist and professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, US. When the "toxic side effects" of prescription drugs were taken into account, and their misuse, he claimed they were "a signficant cause of death". Cholesterol-lowering statins were a classic example of the drugs industry overselling a product as a wonder-pill to prevent heart attacks, despite evidence that they could do more harm than good, he claimed.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

August 17, 2010

Pharmaceuticals: A market for producing 'lemons' and serious harm
The pharmaceutical industry is a "market for lemons," a market in which the seller knows much more than the buyer about the product and can profit from selling products less effective and less safe than consumers are led to believe, according to an analysis that will be presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. "Sometimes drug companies hide or downplay information about serious side effects of new drugs and overstate the drugs' benefits," said Donald Light, the sociologist who authored the study and who is a professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. "Then, they spend two to three times more on marketing than on research to persuade doctors to prescribe these new drugs. Doctors may get misleading information and then misinform patients about the risks of a new drug. It's really a two-tier market for lemons."
Read article at physorg.com

August 14, 2010

Drug firms hiding negative research are unfit to experiment on people
Another pharmaceutical giant has settled a big compensation claim. So why are they allowed to go on misleading the public?
This week the drug company AstraZeneca paid out £125m to settle a class action. More than 17,500 patients claim the company withheld information showing that schizophrenia drug quetiapine (tradename Seroquel) can cause diabetes. So why do companies pay out money before cases get to court?
An interesting feature of litigation is that various documents enter the public domain. This is how we know about the tobacco industry's evil plans to target children, the fake academic journal that Elsevier created for Merck's marketing department, and so on. One of the most revealing documents ever to come out of a drug company emerged from an earlier quetiapine case: an email from John Tumas, publications manager at AstraZeneca.
Read article in the Guardian (UK)
Comment: In September 2004, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors published a statement claiming that from then on, its journals would only publish trials that were fully registered before they started. Theoretically, this should have made it more difficult for the results of drug trials to be buried. In practice, however, several years later, it turns out that fewer than half of all the trials that the editors published had been adequately registered, and more than a quarter were not registered at all. The fact that governments around the world have not acted to stop these criminal practices tells us everything we need to know about their ongoing collusion in the business with disease.

August 13, 2010

Acetaminophen use in adolescents linked to doubled risk of asthma
New evidence linking the use of acetaminophen to development of asthma and eczema suggests that even monthly use of the drug in adolescents may more than double risk of asthma in adolescents compared to those who used none at all; yearly use was associated with a 50 percent increase in the risk of asthma.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: Based upon research involving more than 300,000 13- and 14 year old children in 113 centers throughout 50 countries, the results of this study follow hot on the heels of independent research that links acetaminophen (Paracetamol) not only to asthma but also to hearing loss and adverse vision events. As such, as the leading cause of liver failure in the United States and carrying a much increased risk of stroke and heart attack, it is becoming increasingly clear that the dangers of acetaminophen are far higher, and more numerous, than the business with disease and its friends in the drug regulatory agencies would have you believe.

August 12, 2010

US probes corruption in big pharma
The US Department of Justice is scrutinising payments by leading pharmaceuticals companies for hospitality, consultants, licensing agreements and charitable donations in markets around the world as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe. GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly, among others, have disclosed being contacted by the DoJ and Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the investigation. Merck, the US drugs group, announced last week that it had also been contacted and was co-operating with investigators.
Read article at yahoo.com

August 12, 2010

FDA warns of brain problem with Glaxo seizure drug
Federal health officials warn of rare brain inflammation with Glaxo drug Lamictal
WASHINGTON -- Federal health regulators are warning doctors and patients that an anti-seizure drug from GlaxoSmithKline PLC can cause rare inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
Read Associated Press news report at yahoo.com

August 11, 2010

WHO list reveals pandemic flu advisors with industry ties
Five of the 15 experts that advised the World Health Organisation about swine flu pandemic alerts had received support from the drugs industry, including for flu vaccine research, the WHO revealed on Wednesday.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: The list of the WHO's influenza pandemic advisors with conflicts includes, amongst others, people with current and past grants and funding from GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche, Baxter, Sanofi Pasteur and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA).

August 11, 2010

European Agency Agrees To Release Side Effect Data
In response to harsh criticism that important side effect information was being kept hidden from the public, the European Medicines Agency has agreed to make adverse events available, and the move is likely to result in additional complaints filed by consumers.
Read article at pharmalot.com

August 10, 2010

Swine flu pandemic is over, says WHO
The swine flu pandemic has been declared officially over by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Dr Margaret Chan, director general of WHO, said on Tuesday that the 2009 H1N1 virus had "largely run its course", 14 months after pandemic status was declared.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: As with previous health scares, such as SARS and bird flu, The biggest financial beneficiary from swine flu was the pharmaceutical industry, which, after manipulating the World Health Organisation into downgrading its definition of a pandemic, earned billions of dollars by selling its synthetic chemical products and claiming that these would ostensibly avert swine flu-infection. It’s no surprise, then, that such hysteria visits our planet with alarming regularity, as the “business with disease” is one of the largest frauds in the history of mankind. By giving people carcinogenic chemotherapy, the business with cancer earns billions. Likewise the business with AIDS chemotherapy, causing only more damage to the immune system of patients, is no longer tenable. Long term, therefore, the pharmaceutical investment “business with disease” can only survive in a society where civil rights are curtailed and political decision-making is carried out via the creation of totalitarian dictatorships. To learn how you can work with us to help avert such an outcome and end the fraudulent business model of the pharmaceutical drug cartel, click here.

August 9, 2010

AstraZeneca Pays $198M For 17,500 Seroquel Suits
AstraZeneca is moving closer to resolving the large number of lawsuits filed in the US over claims that the risks of its Seroquel antipsychotic were not properly disclosed. In the latest disclosure, AstraZeneca has agreed to pay about $198 million to settle 17,500, or roughly two-thirds of the outstanding lawsuits, according to a statement.
Read article at pharmalot.com

August 2, 2010

A Hollywood Star And An Accutane Lawsuit
The usual interaction between Hollywood and the pharmaceutical industry takes place when a celebrity endorses a drug. Roche, for instance, has successfully employed Sally Fields to promote its Boniva med for osteoporosis. Now, though, Roche is about to encounter a Hollywood experience of an entirely different sort - James Marshall, who played a US Marine in the 1992 hit film ‘A Few Good Men,’ claims his acting career was derailed after he used the Accutane acne pill and developed inflammatory bowel disease. His colon was subsequently removed and he is suing the drugmaker for $11 million.
Read article at pharmalot.com

July 30, 2010

Health workers fear the dangers of secondhand exposure to chemo drugs
An investigation by InvestigateWest, a nonprofit investigative news organization in the Pacific Northwest, found that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Association does not regulate exposure to these toxins in the workplace, despite studies that document ongoing contamination and exposures. Studies as far back as the 1970s linked increased rates of certain cancers to nurses and physicians. Occupational health experts believe that’s because when nurses, pharmacists, technicians and, increasingly, even veterinarians mix and deliver the drugs, accidental spills, sprays and punctures put them in close, frequent contact with hazardous drugs.
Read article at mlive.com (Michigan/USA)
Comment: Descended from the deadly mustard gas first used against soldiers during World War I, chemotherapy drugs have been classified as hazardous by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration since the mid-1980s. Notably, therefore, a recent 10-year study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control specifically confirms that chemotherapy drugs can be found in the urine of the clinicians who handle them. To learn more about the toxicity of these dangerous drugs, click here.

July 30, 2010

AstraZeneca Settles 4,000 Seroquel Lawsuits
There was news last week that AstraZeneca was settling at least 200 lawsuits that charged the drugmaker with hiding the risks of its Seroquel antipsychotic and links to diabetes (back story). As it turns out, AstraZeneca has agreed in principle to settle nearly 4,000 such claims (see page 34). Terms were not disclosed. AstraZeneca is only the latest big drugmaker to strike settlments with a large number of plaintiffs in ongoing product-liability litigation. Recently, GlaxoSmithKline has done the same concerning lawsuits filed over its Avandia diabetes med and Paxil antidepressant (see here and here). The goal, of course, is to dispense with the litigation before associated costs spiral upwards and further distract managers, all of which combines to unhinge investors if court battles are lost and no end appears in sight.
Read article at pharmalot.com

July 28, 2010

New mental health 'bible' will lead to almost everyone having a disorder, warn experts
An updated edition of a mental health bible for doctors could mean that soon no-one will be classed as normal, experts warned today. Diagnoses for 'disorders' could be based on symptoms including toddler tantrums, mild mood swings and binge eating. Sweeping changes are being made to the U.S Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which influences practitioners around the world. However, leading British mental health experts have warned the revisions could devalue the seriousness of mental illness and label almost everyone as having some kind of disorder.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

July 22, 2010

Vioxx cases urgent: barrister
The Federal Court should expedite the cases of hundreds of Australians who had heart attacks after taking the anti-arthritis drug Vioxx so they do not die before receiving compensation, a barrister has argued. Julian Burnside, QC, made the plea at a directions hearing in Melbourne yesterday after a judge this year found Vioxx doubled the risk of heart attack and the Australian subsidiary of Merck, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, had breached the Trade Practices Act by selling it.
Read article in The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

July 21, 2010

Two More Med Schools To End Pharma Funding
Two more colleges are in the process of restricting funding from industry. Harvard Medical School will prohibit its 11,000 faculty from giving promotional talks for drug and device makers and accepting personal gifts, travel, or meals, The Boston Globe writes. And Central Michigan University may not accept money upcoming continuing medical education programs, according to Central Michigan Life.
Read article at pharmalot.com

July 20, 2010

Nigeria: Trovan Case - New Victims Sue Pfizer for U.S.$384 Billion
Abuja — Victims of the 1996 Pfizer meningitis trovan vaccine test which caused over 200 deaths and several others permanent disability have again sued the drugs manufacturing giant for a whopping sum of $384 billion. The victims, numbering 192, who have just surfaced, are claiming the colossal sum as damages from Pfizer Incorporated and Pfizer Specialities for the injuries they were made to suffer by the negative effect of the untested vaccines administered on them.
Read article at allafrica.com

July 18, 2010

Prescription drug epidemic spreads to babies
Dr. Mary Newport sees the symptoms more and more in the babies she treats: oddly stiff limbs, severe tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, crying that never stops. The common denominator: Their mothers were taking prescription drugs, mostly painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, and antianxiety drugs like Xanax during pregnancy.
Read article in the St. Petersburg Times (Florida/USA)

July 14, 2010

SSRIs Render Unfriendly Skies
The SSRI antidepressant makers are desperate to find new customers, so they recently have been focusing on capturing groups for which the drugs were usually considered off limits. The latest marketing coup managed to open up sales to roughly 614,000 American pilots. Under a new policy announced on April 5, 2010, pilots diagnosed with depression can seek permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to take one of four SSRIs, including Eli Lilly's Prozac, Pfizer's Zoloft, and Forest Laboratories' Celexa and Lexapro. "The FAA should reverse its ruling before it's too late and hundreds of lives are lost when a pilot becomes impulsive, suicidal or violent--or just loses his sharpness--under the influence of antidepressant medication," said SSRI expert, Dr Peter Breggin, in an April 19, 2010 Huffington Post commentary.
Read article by Evelyn Pringle at opednews.com

July 14, 2010

F.D.A. Panel Votes to Restrict Avandia
A federal medical advisory panel recommended Wednesday that Avandia, a controversial diabetes drug, should either be withdrawn from the market or have sales severely restricted because it increases the risks of heart attacks.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)

July 13, 2010

Glaxo Said to Pay $460 Million to Settle Avandia Damage Suits
GlaxoSmithKline Plc agreed to pay about $460 million to resolve a majority of lawsuits alleging the company’s Avandia diabetes drug can cause heart attacks and strokes, people familiar with the accords said. Glaxo, the U.K.’s biggest drugmaker, agreed to settle about 10,000 suits for an average of at least $46,000 apiece, the people said. The company had been facing more than 13,000 suits alleging Glaxo hid the drug’s heart-attack risk, according to a UBS AG analyst. The settlements come as Glaxo is set to face its first Avandia trial in federal court in Philadelphia in October.
Read article at bloomberg.com

July 10, 2010

Ex-Regulator Said to Testify GlaxoSmithKline Withheld Study
A former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official said GlaxoSmithKline Plc withheld from regulators a study showing its Avandia diabetes drug may cause heart attacks, according to two people familiar with her deposition in a lawsuit against the drugmaker.
Read article at businessweek.com

July 6, 2010

Antidepressants in sea may damage food chain
Rising levels of antidepressants in coastal waters could change sea-life behaviour and potentially damage the food-chain, scientists said. Research into the behaviour of shrimps exposed to the antidepressant fluoxetine showed that their behaviour was dramatically affected.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

July 4, 2010

Ministers declare war on Britain's tranquilliser crisis
Decades of over-prescribing by GPs of drugs such as Valium have created 1.5 million 'involuntary addicts'
Ministers are poised to demand a dramatic reduction in the millions of tranquillisers prescribed in the UK every year, amid growing concerns about the long-term effects on patients who become addicted to them. A review of the problem of patient addiction – campaigners claim about 1.5 million people are affected – is expected to recommend a huge decrease in the availability of benzodiazepine tranquillisers, including Valium.
Read article in The Independent (UK)

June 29, 2010

Study finds serious heart risks with diabetes drug
A large US study has reported serious heart risks with a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. An analysis of 56 clinical trials found Avandia, one of number of drugs manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Cork, increased the chances of a heart attack by 28 to 39 per cent, according to researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
Read article in the Irish Times

June 29, 2010

Nigerians Can Proceed With Their Pfizer Lawsuits
The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Pfizer to overturn a ruling that reinstated lawsuits filed by Nigerian families, who say the drugmaker tested an experimental antibiotic on their children without getting adequate consent.
Read article at pharmalot.com

June 28, 2010

Medically Caused Death in America
An Exclusive Interview With Barbara Starfield
The American health system, like clockwork, causes a mind-boggling number of deaths every year. The figures have been known for a decade. The story was covered briefly when a landmark study surfaced, and then it sank like a stone. The truth was inconvenient for many interests. That has not changed. “Medical coverage for all” is a banner that conceals ugly facts. On July 26, 2000, the US medical community received a titanic shock to the system, when one of its most respected public-health experts, Dr. Barbara Starfield, revealed her findings on healthcare in America.
Read article at newswithviews.com

June 25, 2010

Blood pressure drugs taken by millions probed over cancer link
Medicines watchdogs are to investigate blood pressure drugs taken by millions over fears they raise the risk of cancer, it has been announced. The European medicines regulator has announced an investigations into the angiotensin-receptor blockers, or ARBs. It was prompted by an analysis of nine research trials which suggested the drugs may increase the risk of cancer.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

June 25, 2010

Swine flu risk 'was vastly over-rated' by World Health Organisation
Threats of a swine flu pandemic were 'vastly over-rated' by the World Health Organisation, an inquiry has concluded. The Council of Europe last night also accused the UN's health arm of 'grave shortcomings' in the process that led it to declare a pandemic last year.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

June 25, 2010

Merck To Pay $8M In Damages In Fosamax Trial
In replay of a courtroom battle that ended in a mistrial last fall, a federal jury today voted unanimously that Merck’s Fosamax osteoporosis drug was responsible for causing jawbone deterioration suffered by a Florida woman, who was awarded $8 million in compensatory damages (here is the lawsuit).
Read article at pharmalot.com

June 25, 2010

Doc Goes To Jail In Pfizer Research Fraud Case
Scott Reuben, who was accused of faking research for a dozen years in published studies that suggested after-surgery benefits from Vioxx and Celebrex, was sentenced to six months in jail plus three years supervised release after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to health care fraud, MassLive reports. The 51-year-old must also repay $361,932 in research grants, forfeit assets worth at least $50,000 and pay a $5,000 fine. The former chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center received grants from various drugmakers but never performed the studies, fabricated patient data and submitted info to anesthesiology journals that was unwittingly published. Later, an investigation found 21 papers published in journals between 1996 and 2008 in which Reuben made up some or all of the data (background here and here).
Read article at pharmalot.com

June 23, 2010

GSK Settles 200 Paxil Lawsuits Alleging Birth Defects
GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company that makes the antidepressant Paxil, has agreed to settle nearly 200 cases brought by plaintiffs who allege that their use of the drug during pregnancy caused their children to be born with birth defects. The cases, all scheduled to go to trial, have been settled pre-trial for undisclosed sums.
Read article at lawyersandsettlements.com (USA)

June 22, 2010

Johnson & Johnson involved in bribery case in China
The US drug giant Johnson & Johnson was exposed in the involvement of an alleged bribery case in China, according to local media reports. Media reports said that the China's former vice director of the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), Zhang Jingli, has been involved in cases of bribery in the pharmaceutical field, including the latest of Johnson & Johnson. The company (Johnson & Johnson) declined to comment. Sources close to the SFDA said that Zhang took the bribes in exchange for help in getting the firms drug application numbers and certificate of registration of medical products.
Read article in the Global Times (China)

June 21, 2010

Pfizer Rejected by High Court in Menopause Drug Case
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Pfizer Inc.’s appeal of a verdict for an Arkansas woman who blamed the company’s menopause drugs for her breast cancer, leaving intact a $2.7 million award that may grow with punitive damages. The justices today let stand a lower court decision upholding that award, which marked the first federal verdict against Pfizer’s Wyeth unit over its Prempro hormone-replacement treatment.
Read article at businessweek.com

June 21, 2010

'Ireland's Erin Brockovich' and a €1m battle with the drugs industry
His story has parallels with that of Erin Brockovich, whose David-and-Goliath battle against a US energy company became the subject of a Hollywood film. But unlike the American legal clerk, Liam Grant is taking on a giant pharmaceutical company. In 1996, Mr Grant's 19-year-old son, also called Liam, was prescribed Roaccutane, an acne drug. Formerly cheerful and outgoing, he soon became withdrawn and reclusive. Four months after he started taking the drug, he was found hanging from a tree outside Dublin. A jury delivered a verdict of suicide. Mr Grant has spent more than €1m (£835,000) of his own money pursuing the drug's manufacturer, the Swiss company Roche, and the regulators whom he holds responsible for his son's death. Roche denies it is to blame for any deaths or severe mental health problems. He has now won a crucial ruling from the European Ombudsman, Nikiforos Diamandouros, that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) should release details of all adverse reactions to the medicines it licenses.
Read article in The Independent (UK)

June 18, 2010

Creating Disease: Big Pharma and Disease Mongering
You may think there is enough disease in the world already, and that no one would want to add to the diseases that we humans must deal with. But there is a powerful industry in our society that is working overtime to invent illnesses and to convince us we are suffering from them. This effort is known as "disease mongering," a term introduced by health-science writer Lynn Payer in her 1992 book Disease-Mongers: How Doctors, Drug Companies, and Insurers Are Making You Feel Sick. Payer defined disease mongering as "trying to convince essentially well people that they are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill." This strategy has also been called "the corporate construction of disease" by Ray Moynihan, Iona Heath and David Henry in the British Medical Journal. "There's a lot of money to be made from telling healthy people they're sick," they say. "Pharmaceutical companies are actively involved in sponsoring the definition of diseases and promoting them to both prescribers and consumers."
Read article by Larry Dossey, MD, in the Huffington Post (USA)

June 18, 2010

Pfizer Faces Trials in 200 Suits Over Hormone-Drugs
Pfizer Inc. faces a Texas trial over its hormone-replacement drugs after a court overseeing lawsuits over the medicines sent 200 cases back to their home courts. A judge in Galveston, Texas, last week set a May 2011 trial date for Karen Zahn’s claims against Pfizer’s Wyeth unit. Zahn says in her suit that the Prempro menopause drug helped cause her breast cancer. It’s one of the first of more than 8,000 lawsuits over the medicine consolidated in federal court in Arkansas to be returned for trial, plaintiffs’ lawyers said.
Read article at businessweek.com

June 13, 2010

Cardiologists discover cancer risks in blood pressure meds
University Hospitals Case Medical Center cardiologists have uncovered new research showing an increased risk of cancer with a group of blood pressure medications known as angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs).
Read article at physorg.com

June 8, 2010

Drugs agency told to provide details on anti-obesity drugs
European ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros has called on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to grant access to clinical study reports and trial protocols for anti-obesity drugs. His demand follows a complaint from Danish healthcare researchers who wanted to conduct an independent analysis of the drugs. In 2007, the researchers, from a health and information centre, asked to see clinical study reports and corresponding trial protocols for two anti-obesity drugs. They explained that they wanted to conduct an independent analysis given that, in their view, biased reporting on drug trials was common.
Read article at theparliament.com

June 4, 2010

Report condemns swine flu experts' ties to big pharma
Trio of scientists who urged stockpiling had previously been paid, says report
Scientists who drew up the key World Health Organisation guidelines advising governments to stockpile drugs in the event of a flu pandemic had previously been paid by drug companies which stood to profit, according to a report out today. An investigation by the British Medical Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the not-for-profit reporting unit, shows that WHO guidance issued in 2004 was authored by three scientists who had previously received payment for other work from Roche, which makes Tamiflu, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), manufacturer of Relenza. City analysts say that pharmaceutical companies banked more than $7bn (£4.8bn) as governments stockpiled drugs.
Read article in the Guardian (UK)
Comment: At both national and international levels, the tentacles of drug company influence are increasingly evident in all aspects of health-care decision-making processes. As such, it is clear that the fraudulent business model of the pharmaceutical drug cartel needs to be terminated as soon as possible, in the interests of the health and lives of the six billion people alive today and all future generations. The perpetrators of this fraud must be brought to justice and we consider that it is our responsibility to be active in the preparations for such trials. To learn what you can do to help us, click here. If you would like to send us your personal testimony for publication on our website and use in the official documentation of any tribunal brought against representatives of the drug cartel, click here.

June 4, 2010

Pill 'caused gambling addiction'
More than 100 people who allegedly became addicted to gambling and pornography after taking a prescription drug used to treat tremors associated with Parkinson's disease are suing two drug companies.
Read article in the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

June 2, 2010

Should A Nigerian Lawsuit Against Pfizer Proceed?
In a closely watched matter, the US Solicitor General has filed a brief suggesting to the US Supreme Court that a lawsuit filed against Pfizer by several Nigerians over the 1996 Trovan scandal should proceed. Essentially, this means the Solicitor General disagrees with Pfizer’s interpretation of a law that has been relied upon to claim US companies committed eggregious behavior overseas, and that the Supreme Court should not bother to hear the case (see the brief). The law involved is known as the Alien Tort Statute and it was cited by several Nigerian families who accuse Pfizer of violating international humans rights law - various provisions from the Nuremberg Code; the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; guidelines from the Council for International Organizations of Medical Services; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and a United Nations General Assembly Resolution. The 1996 Trovan study was conducted on about 200 children and took place during a meningitis epidemic that killed 12,000 children, but Pfizer was accused of failing to obtain proper regulatory approval and for misleading parents. The study allegedly left 11 children dead and the others were deformed.
Read article at pharmalot.com

May 31, 2010

Antidepressants in pregnancy increase risk of miscarriage
A new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) found a 68% increase in the overall risk of miscarriage in pregnant women using antidepressants.
Read article at physorg.com

May 29, 2010

Scots sue drug firm over link to heart attacks
US company behind banned painkiller Vioxx accused of failure to highlight risks
Dozens of Scots are taking legal action against an American drug company over fears that a controversial painkiller may have caused heart problems. Vioxx was banned in 2004 after it was shown patients on the drug were more than twice as likely to have heart attacks.
Read article on the Press and Journal website (Scotland/UK)

May 28, 2010

B.C. breast cancer patients win right to sue
The maker of a hormone replacement drug that's been blamed for higher rates of breast cancer has lost its bid to block a B.C. class-action lawsuit. The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday declined to hear an appeal from Wyeth-Ayerst International, which makes the drugs Premarin and Premplus. Hundreds of B.C. women claim they got breast cancer after taking the medication to ease symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats.
Read article on the CBC News website (Canada)

May 21, 2010

Statins could cause liver and kidney problems, research shows
New UK data highlights range of possible problems associated with cholesterol-lowering drugs
Cholesterol-lowering drugs taken by millions of Britons could cause liver, kidney, muscle and eye problems, research out today suggests.
Read article in the Guardian (UK)
Comment: Side-effects already known to be caused by statins include insomnia, constipation, diarrhoea, headaches, loss of appetite and loss of sensation or pain in the nerve endings of the hands and feet. Despite this, however, cholesterol-lowering drugs have become the single largest business segment of the pharmaceutical drug business, with the global sales of statins now surpassing 200 billion dollars per year. To achieve these sales, the entire cholesterol business is built on fear – the fear that cholesterol causes heart attacks. While this scare has become a gold mine for the drug companies, the economic burden of this business is ultimately carried by us, the people. Health professionals, political decision takers and hundreds of millions of patients worldwide therefore have the right to know: What are the proven facts – and what is the fiction promoted by the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical investment business with patented cholesterol-lowering drugs? To learn the facts about cholesterol drugs, click here. To learn how coronary heart disease occurs exactly for the same reason that clinical (early) scurvy does – a deficiency of vitamin C in the cells composing the artery wall – click here.

May 19, 2010

Regular Use of Aspirin Increases Risk of Crohn's Disease by 5 Times, Study Finds
People who take aspirin regularly for a year or more may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease, according to a new study by the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Read article at sciencedaily.com
Comment: Crohn's disease is by no means the only hazard that regular users of aspirin face. Other known effects that result from the use of the drug include a significantly increased risk of hearing loss; a raised risk of developing deadly pancreatic cancer; and a risk of internal bleeding, including bleeding in the brain.

May 19, 2010

Expert panel to view confidential swine flu papers
Expert panel examining WHO's swine flu handling to review confidential contracts with industry
GENEVA -- An expert panel investigating the World Health Organization's response to last year's swine flu outbreak said Wednesday it wants to see confidential exchanges between the U.N. body and drug companies. The 29-member panel will seek WHO records and correspondence from before and after the H1N1 strain was declared a pandemic in June, said committee chairman Harvey Fineberg, who is also president of the Institute of Medicine in Washington. "We will want to have access to certain confidential documents that may be in place here at WHO or elsewhere," Fineberg told reporters in Geneva.
Read Associated Press news report at yahoo.com

May 19, 2010

Taking common blood pressure drugs while pregnant 'increases risk of hyperactive children'
Taking common blood pressure drugs while pregnant significantly increases the chances of having hyperactive children, a new study shows.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

May 18, 2010

New study examines hearing loss, Viagra use
Research by a University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) professor shows an association between hearing loss and the use of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.
Read article at physorg.com

May 17, 2010

Australian Parents ‘Pimp’ Their Kids For Flu Trial?
A controversy appears to be emerging in Australia over payments made to parents who have enrolled children as young as six months old in H1N1 flu vaccine trials sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. In some instances, parents were enrolling three children at a time and receiving $900, according to The Herald Sun, which notes the payments may breach national ethical guidelines.
Read article at pharmalot.com

May 17, 2010

Pfizer Settles Neurontin Suit Over Minister’s Death
Pfizer Inc. agreed to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit alleging its Neurontin epilepsy medicine caused a retired minister to commit suicide two months after he started taking the drug. Lawyers for New York-based Pfizer, the world’s biggest drugmaker, told a judge in Nashville, Tennessee, they resolved claims by the family of Richard Smith, which were set to go to trial today. It’s the second settlement of claims that officials of a Pfizer unit knew the epilepsy drug posed a suicide risk and failed to disclose it to patients and doctors.
Read article at businessweek.com

May 11, 2010

European Agency Should Release Side Effect Reports
The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) recently refused to release documents containing suspected adverse reactions caused by Accutane (which is called Roaccutane in the UK), after a law firm in two years ago Ireland requested info that dated back to 1992. At issue were reports linking the acne drug to suicidal tendencies, a topic that has been the subject of controversy and litigation for years (see here). And so European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros yesterday vigorously disagreed with the EMEA argument that transparency rules do not apply to these reports. “EMEA plays a crucial role in the approval and monitoring of medicines placed on the market,” he said in a statement. “Since its work has a direct impact on the health of European citizens, it is of utmost importance for EMEA to give the widest possible access to documents and also to pursue a pro-active information policy for the benefit of citizens.”
Read article at pharmalot.com

May 11, 2010

Glaxo Said to Pay About $60 Million in First Settlements of Avandia Drug
GlaxoSmithKline Plc agreed to pay about $60 million in the first settlements of lawsuits alleging the company’s Avandia diabetes drug causes heart attacks and strokes in some users, people familiar with the accords said. Glaxo, the U.K.’s biggest drugmaker, agreed to resolve more than 700 Avandia suits filed by three attorneys, including Houston-based plaintiffs’ lawyer Mark Lanier and Philadelphia- based litigator Sol Weiss, the people said. The settlements come as Glaxo is scheduled to face its first Avandia trial in state court in Philadelphia in July.
Read article at bloomberg.com

May 10, 2010

Drugs for Ulcer, Heartburn Linked to Infections
AstraZeneca Plc’s Nexium, Pfizer Inc.’s Protonix and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s Prevacid, ulcer drugs also prescribed for indigestion, were linked to a higher risk of bone fractures in older women and to a diarrhea-causing infection, two studies found.
Read article at businessweek.com

May 5, 2010

EU parliament urged to investigate H1N1 outbreak
More than 200 deputies have signed a proposal calling for a special committee on the H1N1 pandemic. The members, who come from across the political divide, said one of its aims would be to evaluate the EU's dependence on the World Health Organisation. Speaking at a news conference in parliament on Wednesday, Belgian Greens MEP Isabelle Durant said the management of the outbreak had "seriously undermined the credibility of, and confidence in our institutions".
Read article at theparliament.com
Comment: Evidence suggests that drug companies manipulated the World Health Organisation into downgrading its definition of a pandemic so they could earn billions of dollars from the H1N1 outbreak.

April 23, 2010

EU drugs agency working with patient groups bankrolled by big pharma
European patients' groups, set up to represent the interests of the subjects of medical procedures in their dealings with healthcare systems, insurance firms and drug companies are in many cases bankrolled by pharmaceutical firms, according to a new report. Complicating the situation, many such groups are working with and on the board of the European Medicines Agency - the very EU agency charged with evaluation of medicines in the bloc. A fresh report from transparency watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory accuses the EMA of mis-administrating conflict of interest guidelines allowing individuals and groups to falsely say that they are not sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.
Read article at euobserver.com

April 23, 2010

Nearly 2,000 doctors named for taking pharma firms' gifts
NEW DELHI: Nearly 2,000 doctors have violated professional ethics by receiving gifts, hospitality, or monetary grants from pharmaceutical companies in the last three years, according to the Medical Council of India (MCI), parliament was informed Friday.
Read article in The Economic Times (India)

April 20, 2010

IMS Forecasts Global Pharmaceutical Market Growth of 5-8% Annually through 2014
IMS Health reported today that the size of the global market for pharmaceuticals is expected to grow nearly $300 billion over the next five years, reaching $1.1 trillion in 2014.
Read press release at imshealth.com
Comment: Yes, you did read that right. Within four years, the global value of the pharmaceutical drug industry’s “Business with Disease” is expected to reach 1.1 TRILLION dollars annually. To put this colossal amount of money in context, World Bank figures for 2008 show that it exceeds the gross domestic product (GDP) of all but 12 countries in the world and, moreover, that it is greater than the combined GDPs of the world’s one hundred poorest countries. To learn the facts about the drug industry – and understand why it constitutes the largest fraud in the history of mankind – click here.

April 19, 2010

Pilots Taking Antidepressants? The FAA Is Risking Our Lives
A few years ago I was hired by the FAA to defend the agency against a suit brought by a pilot who wanted to fly while taking a prescription antidepressant. I helped the FAA formulate its defense of the agency's ban on pilots using antidepressants and, as a result, the ban remained in effect. Pilots remained unable to fly while taking antidepressants, including the newer ones such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro and Effexor. How times have changed. Ignoring the scientific data on adverse drug effects that the agency and I generated and evaluated for the earlier case, the FAA is lifting its 70-year-old ban on allowing pilots to take antidepressants. Has the science changed--improving the adverse reaction profile of these drugs? To the contrary, since that time my most dire observations have been confirmed in the FDA-approved label for all antidepressants.
Read article by Dr. Peter Breggin in the Huffington Post (USA)

April 19, 2010

Psychiatric Drugging of Infants and Toddlers in the US - Part I
The United States has become the psychiatric drugging capital of the world for kids with children being medicated at a younger and younger age. Medicaid records in some states show infants less than a year old on drugs for mental disorders. The use of powerful antipsychotics with privately insured children, aged 2 through 5 in the US, doubled between 1999 and 2007, according to a study of data on more than one million children with private health insurance in the January, 2010, "Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry."
Read article by Evelyn Pringle at opednews.com

April 19, 2010

Psychiatric Drugging of Infants and Toddlers in the US - Part II
Of all the harmful actions of modern psychiatry, "the mass diagnosing and drugging of children is the most appalling with the most serious consequences for the future of individual lives and for society," warns the world-renowned expert, Dr Peter Breggin, often referred to as the "Conscience of Psychiatry."
Dr Nathaniel Lehrman, author of the book, "Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs," believes that giving infants and toddlers "powerful, brain-effecting psychiatric medication is close to criminal activity." "Giving them these drugs," he says, "has no rationale, and ignores the basic fact that youngsters are very sensitive to their environments, both social and chemical, with the juvenile brain easily damaged by the latter."
Read article by Evelyn Pringle at opednews.com

April 15, 2010

UK Sentences Former J&J Exec For Corruption
A former executive at Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy International unit pleaded guilty for his role in paying $7 million in bribes to Greek doctors and was sentenced to 12 months in jail, according to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.
Read article at pharmalot.com

April 14, 2010

Popular Anticonvulsants Raise Suicide Risks: Study
Several widely used anticonvulsants, including Pfizer’s Neurontin, may increase the risk of suicide, attempted suicide and violent death in patients taking them for the first time, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Read article at pharmalot.com
Comment: This finding comes two years after the FDA required anticonvulsants to carry a warning that they double the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, based on a meta-analysis of nearly 200 clinical trials.

April 13, 2010

Merck Hid Vioxx’s Risks From Louisiana, Official Says
Merck & Co. never informed Louisiana health officials about the heart-attack risks posed by its withdrawn Vioxx painkiller, a former state agency chief testified in court.
Read article at bloomberg.com

April 6, 2010

Mass H1N1 immunisation 'inappropriate'
The mass vaccination program for swine flu has come under fire from an infectious disease expert who says the risk of serious side effects was greater than any potential benefit for half the Australian population. Writing in the latest issue of Australian Prescriber, Professor Peter Collignon, director of the Infectious Diseases Unit and Microbiology Department at The Canberra Hospital, said the Government's response to the virus was "inappropriate", fuelled by fears about its spread that were out of proportion to the real threat posed by the disease. "Overall, swine flu has been associated with fewer deaths than seasonal influenza and is of low virulence," he wrote.
Read article at pharmacynews.com.au (Australia)
Comment: Around 50 per cent of people who received the H1N1 vaccine in the Australian trial are said to have experienced mild to moderate systemic adverse effects, whilst 1.7 per cent suffered adverse effects recorded as severe. In children, 20 per cent are believed to have experienced moderate to severe systemic adverse effects.

April 6, 2010

Poisoning by prescription drugs on the rise
Poisoning is now the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S. While several recent high-profile Hollywood celebrity cases have brought the problem to public attention, the rates of unintentional poisoning deaths have been on the rise for more than 15 years, and in fact, unintentional poisoning has surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of unintentional injury death among people 35-54 years of age. In a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers found that hospitalizations for poisoning by prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers in the U.S. have increased by 65% from 1999 to 2006.
Read article at physorg.com

April 5, 2010

Anti-psychotic drugs link to pneumonia warning
The use of anti-psychotic drugs in the elderly doubles the risk of potentially fatal pneumonia, say Dutch researchers.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

April 3, 2010

B.C. woman whose daughter committed suicide sues Pfizer
A Canadian woman has launched a class-action lawsuit against the Pfizer drug company, claiming her 22-year-old daughter committed suicide after taking the prescription drug Champix to help her quit smoking.
Read article in the National Post (Canada)

April 3, 2010

Scientist 'deceived' by drugs giant
A leading Australian medical researcher says the pharmaceutical giant Wyeth duped him into publishing a scientific paper that became part of the company's clandestine campaign to play down the dangers of its drugs for menopausal women. John Eden, an associate professor at the University of NSW and director of the Sydney Menopause Centre, says he has been shocked to learn that a paper he published in the prestigious American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology was one of more than 40 scientific articles Wyeth orchestrated to try to increase sales of its lucrative hormone-replacement drugs.
Read article in The Australian

April 2, 2010

Pfizer Agrees to First Neurontin Lawsuit Settlement
Pfizer Inc. agreed to pay about $400,000 to settle a lawsuit mid-trial that blamed its Neurontin epilepsy medicine for helping cause a Massachusetts man’s suicide, two people familiar with the accord said. It’s the first settlement over a Neurontin-related suicide claim. Pfizer, the world’s largest drugmaker, agreed yesterday to resolve allegations by Hartley Shearer’s family in Boston federal court that its Warner-Lambert unit knew the drug posed a suicide risk and failed to disclose it to patients and doctors.
Read article at bloomberg.com

April 1, 2010

Lilly And Sandoz Lose Preemption Argument
A federal judge late last week rejected an effort by Lilly and Sandoz to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from the August 2004 suicide of a 26-year-old California man who was taking a generic version of the Prozac antidepressant. The lawsuit was filed by Noe Carrasco’s mother, who claims the drugmakers failed to warn of the suicide risks associated with the pill.
Read article at pharmalot.com

March 31, 2010

Vietnam Fines Schering-Plough For Kickbacks
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered the Ministry of Health to impose penalties on the drugmaker and several Ho Chi Minh City docs who took kickbacks of up to $26,300 a month in exchange for promoting two drugs that treat viral hepatitis, The Saigon GP Daily reports.
Read article at pharmalot.com

March 30, 2010

Drug firm investigated FDA officials
For more than two months in late 2008, private investigators working for a drug company gathered information on a high-ranking official at the Food and Drug Administration — unearthing details about her husband, two daughters and in-laws and retracing her steps on a business trip she took to Thailand. The drug company, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc., paid more than $100,000 to Kroll, the New York-based private investigative firm, to uncover the information about Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, who oversees the agency’s new-drug approvals. At stake for Amphastar, a generic drug maker, was whether the FDA would allow it to bring to market a version of a prescription drug for blood clots and gain access to a market worth more than $3 billion.
Read article at politico.com

March 30, 2010

Patents On Genes Are Struck Down By Judge
A federal judge struck down patents held by Myriad Genetics on two genes linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, essentially challenging the idea that anyone can hold patents on human genes. The opinion (see here) is almost certain to be appealed, but may still have significant implications for the biopharma industry. “This marks the first time a court has found patents on genes unlawful and calls into question the validity of patents now held on approximately 2,000 human genes,” according to the Public Patent Foundation, one of several parties that filed the lawsuit.
Read article at pharmalot.com

March 30, 2010

As Britons pop ever more tablets, how drugs companies are turning personality traits into ailments
Ten years ago, if you described shyness or restless legs as a bona fide illness, people would have laughed. But these conditions are just part of an epidemic of newly-invented illnesses sweeping Britain.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

March 30, 2010

Acetaminophen: the Killer Painkiller
The active ingredient in the painkillers Tylenol, Anacin and Panadol was the focus of a recent analysis of 19 studies of 425,000 children and adults treated with acetaminophen in the past year. Children given acetaminophen were 60 percent more likely to suffer from asthma, while adults who had taken the drug were 75 percent more likely to experience asthma. According to a University of British Columbia-Vancouver review published in the journal Chest, higher doses translated to a greater risk of asthma.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health USA

March 25, 2010

Psychiatrists And Pharma: Undue Influence?
Two essays published in separate periodicals this week raise troubling questions about the extent to which psychiatrists may be unduly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, and how this relationship may effect public trust in psychiatry. The upshot? The concern about corruption, or at least the appearance of corruption is palpable.
Read article at pharmalot.com

March 23, 2010

Va. seeks to join lawsuit over prescription drug
Virginia wants to join a federal lawsuit claiming that health care giant Johnson & Johnson paid tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks so nursing homes would put patients on its schizophrenia drug.
Read article at newsleader.com (USA)

March 21, 2010

When drug makers' profits outweigh penalties
Prosecutor Michael Loucks remembers clearly when attorneys for Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, looked across the table and promised it wouldn't break the law again. It was January 2004, and the lawyers were negotiating in a conference room on the ninth floor of the federal courthouse in Boston, where Loucks was head of the health-care fraud unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office. One of Pfizer's units had been pushing doctors to prescribe an epilepsy drug called Neurontin for uses the Food and Drug Administration had never approved. In the agreement the lawyers eventually hammered out, the Pfizer unit, Warner-Lambert, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of marketing a drug for unapproved uses. New York-based Pfizer agreed to pay $430 million in criminal fines and civil penalties, and the company's lawyers assured Loucks and three other prosecutors that Pfizer and its units would stop promoting drugs for unauthorized purposes. What Loucks, who was acting U.S. attorney in Boston until November, didn't know until years later was that Pfizer managers were breaking that pledge not to practice off-label marketing even before the ink was dry on their plea.
Read article in the Washington Post (USA)

March 20, 2010

Health warning over statin taken by millions
A statin taken by millions of Britons may increase risk of a condition which can lead to fatal kidney failure at high doses, a drug watchdog has warned. Simvastatin is taken by around three million people in order to lower their cholesterol and reduce the risk of having a heart attack. However an analysis of clinical trial data in America has found that high doses can cause muscle damage and a rare condition which induces kidney problems and may be fatal.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

March 19, 2010

FDA Warns About Zocor And Muscle Damage
Yet another problem for Merck. The agency says there’s a potential for increased risk of muscle injury from the 80 mg dose of Zocor, or simvastatin, as the generic is known. In issuing its warning, the FDA notes muscle injury, or myopathy, is a known side effect with all statins, but this new concern highlights “the greater risk of developing muscle injury, including rhabdomyolysis” while on the highest dose. Rhabdomyolysis is the most serious form of myopathy and can lead to severe kidney damage, kidney failure, and sometimes death.
Read article at pharmalot.com
Comment: Cholesterol-lowering drugs are the single largest business segment of the global pharmaceutical drug business. The global sales of the leading drug category – statins – have surpassed 200 billion dollars per year. This entire business is built on fear – the fear that cholesterol actually causes heart attacks. While this “cholesterol-scare” has become a gold mine for the drug companies – the economic burden of this business is ultimately carried by us, the people. Health professionals, political decision takers and hundreds of millions of patients worldwide have the right to know: What are the proven facts – and what is the fiction promoted by the multi-billion dollar investment business with patented cholesterol-lowering drugs. To learn the truth about cholesterol drugs, click here.

March 18, 2010

New attack on EU plans for patient drug information
The European Commission has been told that the “only rationale” for its current plans to ease certain controls on the provision of prescription drug information to the public “seems to be to benefit the commercial interests of pharmaceutical companies by expanding their markets and helping them to build brand loyalty.” The long-delayed proposals do not meet citizens’ needs and would expose them to “intensive promotion” of new drugs, claims a statement issued this week by 29 European organisations representing patient groups, social insurance bodies, physicians and others, coordinated by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).
Read article at pharmatimes.com (UK)

March 18, 2010

Diabetes Drug Supporters Had Financial Tie to Glaxo, Study Says
Most scientists who published articles supporting GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s diabetes drug Avandia after it was linked to heart disease in 2007 had financial ties to the company, according to a Mayo Clinic report. The Mayo researchers examined more than 200 articles that appeared after an analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine linked Avandia to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attacks, and a subsequent clinical trial found no greater danger of heart disease. Almost 90 percent of scientists who wrote positive articles, reviews or commentaries about Avandia had financial ties to London-based Glaxo, the study published in the British Medical Journal found.
Read article at businessweek.com

March 12, 2010

The Swine Flu Panic of 2009
Reconstruction of a Mass Hysteria
Swine flu kept the world in suspense for almost a year. A massive vaccination campaign was mounted to put a stop to the anticipated pandemic. But, as it turned out, it was a relatively harmless strain of the flu virus. How, and why, did the world overreact?
Read article in Der Spiegel (Germany)
Comment: To separate the facts from the fiction regarding the 2009 swine flu pandemic, click here. For our answers to frequently asked questions on influenza and swine flu, click here. To understand what the swine flu hysteria is really about, click here.

March 8, 2010

Anti-depressants bring higher risk of developing cataracts
Some anti-depressant drugs are associated with an increased chance of developing cataracts, according to a new statistical study by researchers at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and McGill University. The study, based on a database of more than 200,000 Quebec residents aged 65 and older, showed statistical relationships between a diagnosis of cataracts or cataract surgery and the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as well as between cataracts and specific drugs within that class.
Read article at physorg.com

March 5, 2010

Decisive Safety Action Needed on Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta)
According to a recent article by Janne Larsson, pharmaceutical companies producing methylphenidate-containing psychiatric drugs are manoeuvring to prevent long term safety studies on the effects of those products.
Read article on the La Leva di Archimede website (Italy)

March 5, 2010

Over Six Hundred and Counting - Paxil Birth Defect Cases
Since Paxil came on the market in 1992, there have been three separate types of failure to warn lawsuits filed against GlaxoSmithKline over Paxil; birth defects, suicide, and addiction. Roughly 150 suicide cases were settled for an average of about $2 million, and about 300 cases involving suicide attempts were settled for an average of $300,000, according to a December 14, 2009 report by Bloomberg News. Glaxo paid an average of about $50,000 each to resolve about 3,200 cases linking Paxil to addiction problems. The drug giant has also paid about $400 million to end antitrust, fraud and design claims, Bloomberg reports. All total, Glaxo has paid out close to $1 billion to resolve Paxil lawsuits since the drug came on the market in1992. The company's provision for all legal matters and other non-tax disputes as of the end of 2008 was listed as $3.09 billion in its annual report.
Read article by Evelyn Pringle on the OpEdNews website

March 4, 2010

Australian ruling opens floodgates for Vioxx claims
SYDNEY — An Australian judge on Friday found arthritis drug Vioxx doubled the risk of heart attacks and was not fit for sale, opening the way for hundreds of lawsuits against US pharmaceutical giant Merck.
Read AFP news report at google.com

March 1, 2010

Common painkillers 'increase risk of hearing loss'
Regular use of common painkillers like aspirin and paracetamol can significantly increase the risk of hearing loss, according to a new study.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: In the case of Aspirin, not only can it increase the risk of hearing loss but it can also raise the risk of deadly pancreatic cancer. These risks are of particular significance given that millions of people are taking Aspirin on a daily basis in the false belief that it will ward off heart attacks and strokes. Beliefs about the claimed cardiovascular benefits of aspirin are reported to have been spurred by a typo in an influential paper published in the British Medical Journal in 2002. A correction to the typo was apparently made, but not before the media erroneously began reporting on it as being effective in preventing heart attacks and strokes.

February 27, 2010

The other drug war - the politics of big business
Big Pharma spends millions every year buying influence in Canberra. Adele Ferguson and Eric Johnston investigate the ruthless tactics, the money and the spindoctors behind the scenes.
Read article in the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

February 26, 2010

Glaxo Loses Bid To Preempt Paxil Lawsuit
A lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline over the suicide of 23-year-old Tricia Mason, who killed herself two days after taking its Paxil antidepressant, can proceed. The 7th Circuit appeals court ruled Glaxo didn’t meet its burden of showing with “clear evidence” the FDA would have rejected a labeling change to warn about enhanced suicide risk in young adults, The National Law Journal writes.
Read article at pharmalot.com

February 26, 2010

County files lawsuit against drug giant over diabetes medication
Claiming that a major drugmaker made billions of dollars on a diabetes medication that caused heart attacks and strokes, Santa Clara County on Friday filed a lawsuit charging a decade of false advertising and seeking compensation on behalf of patients and providers in California. Although patients have filed many personal-injury lawsuits against Pennsylvania-based GlaxoSmithKline over its drug Avandia, this is the first governmental lawsuit claiming the drugmaker falsely advertised Avandia's benefits and concealed its risks, according to Tamara Lange, Santa Clara County's lead deputy county counsel. The county alleges that GlaxoSmithKline earned billions of dollars on Avandia and cited an estimate that the drug caused 60,000 to 200,000 heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths nationwide from 1999 to 2006.
Read article in the San Jose Mercury News (California/USA)

February 25, 2010

Ties To Glaxo Led To Favorable Avandia Studies
An analysis of authors who published reports on GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia diabetes pill shows that those with ties to industry were more likely to conclude the drug didn’t increase the risk of myocardial infarction compared with authors with no industry ties, according to a study presented at the American College of Preventive Medicine annual meeting, TheHeart.org reports.
Read article at pharmalot.com

February 25, 2010

These Drugs Generated Most Adverse Event Reports
In the third quarter of 2009, the number of serious, disabling and fatal adverse drug events reported to the FDA numbered 29,065, compared to 26,809 in the same quarter a year earlier, an 8.4 percent rise, according to the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices. For the first three quarters of 2009 combined, the total number of reports was 8.1 percent higher than in the same period of 2008. Highlights of ISMP’s QuarterWatch report include: More than 1,000 reports of patient deaths were received for GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia in the first three quarters of 2009, more than any other drug the non-profit monitors.
Read article at pharmalot.com
Comment: By means of a comparison, the most recent information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System shows that there was not even one death caused by a dietary supplement in 2008.

February 24, 2010

Most Physician Training Aided By Pharma Support
More than half of program directors at internal medicine residency programs accepted various forms of pharma support - food for conferences, educational materials, office supplies, drug samples, and unrestricted educational funds, as well as direct contact with residents (off-site and on-site) - according to a survey in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Of 236 program directors, 56 percent reported accepting support from drugmakers, yet 72 percent said the support is undesirable.
Read article at pharmalot.com

February 23, 2010

Dosed up on donations and addicted to drug company money
Patient support groups and doctors are receiving millions of dollars a year from pharmaceutical companies under a grant system that is raising questions about their independence. A Daily Telegraph investigation found one of the nation's largest drug firms, Pfizer Australia, gave more than $1.7 million to 18 health organisations in 2008 and 2009. The drug company Glaxco-Smith- Kline last year spent $1.3 million sponsoring 14 consumer health groups such as the Asthma Foundation, the Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and MS Australia. And drug companies are also spending more than a $1 million a week wining and dining doctors.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (Australia)

February 23, 2010

Concerns raised over drug firm funding of consumer health groups
Consumer health groups are receiving millions of dollars a year from pharmaceutical companies under a grant system that is raising questions about their independence.
Read article on the AdelaideNow website (Australia)

February 23, 2010

FDA warns of heart risk with HIV drug combination
FDA says HIV drugs from Roche and Abbott can be dangerous when used together
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning Tuesday about potential heart risks when combining two HIV drugs. The agency said preliminary data suggest Roche's Invirase and Abbott Laboratories' Norvir can affect the electrical activity of the heart when used together. Changes to the heart's electrical activity can delay the signals that trigger heart beats. In some cases the problem can cause irregular heart rhythms, leading to lightheadedness, fainting, and even death.
Read Associated Press news report at yahoo.com
Comment: Invirase and Norvir are antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. This class of highly toxic chemicals is promoted by the drug industry to patients with HIV-infections as "life saving." In this effort, the drug industry is using an army of lobbyists, including celebrities and even politicians, some of whom may not be aware of the scientific facts: none of these drugs has ever been shown to cure either HIV or AIDS and they are not allowed to be sold as a cure. Moreover, these toxic drugs are known to attack the immune system of patients and eventually destroy it. To learn the facts about ARV drugs, click here.

February 23, 2010

A Forbes Guest Blogger And His Pharma Ties
Here’s an embarassing moment for Forbes. Over the past week, a physician contributed a few items to the magazine’s science blog, defending various drugs that have recently been criticized or scrutinized over safety issues. Among them were GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia diabetes pill; asthma meds, including Glaxo’s Advair and AstraZeneca’s Symbicort; and statins, such as AstraZeneca’s Crestor. However, the site never noted that the physician, Matthew Mintz, who is listed as an associate professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center in Wash., DC, had other credentials - consulting fees or advisory board participation for Glaxo and AstraZeneca, among others (look here). In the first second quarter of 2009, Glaxo paid him $11,050 (see here).
Read article at pharmalot.com

February 23, 2010

Philadelphia Jury Awards $9.45 Million in Damages Over Prempro Drug
Award marks latest in string of jury verdicts in favor of plaintiffs in Philadelphia hormone replacement therapy cases
Another Philadelphia jury has decided that drugmaker Wyeth should be punished with punitive damages for the warnings provided to a plaintiff and her doctor over the risk of breast cancer from Wyeth's hormonal drug Prempro. The jury awarded $6 million in punitive damages and $3.45 million in compensatory damages Monday in Singleton v. Wyeth.
Read article at law.com

February 22, 2010

Mass. doctor pleads guilty to research fraud
BOSTON -- A doctor accused of faking research for a dozen years in published studies that suggested after-surgery benefits from painkillers including Vioxx and Celebrex pleaded guilty Monday to one count of federal health care fraud. An attorney for Dr. Scott Reuben said the anesthesiologist will have to repay $361,932 in research grants and forfeit assets worth at least $50,000 as penalty for his conduct following a plea hearing in U.S. District Court. Prosecutors alleged the former chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield sought and received research grants from pharmaceutical companies but never performed the studies. They said he fabricated patient data and submitted information to anesthesiology journals that unwittingly published it.
Read article in the Washington Post (USA)

February 20, 2010

Senate report links diabetes drug Avandia to heart attacks
The diabetes drug Avandia is linked with tens of thousands of heart attacks, and drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline knew of the risks for years but worked to keep them from the public, according to a Senate committee report released Saturday. The 334-page report by the Senate Finance Committee also criticized the Food and Drug Administration, saying that the federal agency that regulates food, tobacco and medications overlooked or overrode safety concerns found by its staff. "Americans have a right to know there are serious health risks associated with Avandia and GlaxoSmithKline had a responsibility to tell them," said U.S. Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat and committee chairman.
Read article at cnn.com

February 17, 2010

Kids on ADHD drugs 'poor at school'
Children with ADHD who use prescription drugs to manage their condition are 10 times more likely to perform poorly at school than ADHD kids who avoid medication, a new report reveals. The report also finds stimulant drugs such as Ritalin and dexamphetamine make no significant difference to the level of depression, self-perception and social functioning of a 14-year-old with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Those consistently using medication had significantly higher blood pressure at age 14 than children who had never taken drugs, a side-effect that could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke even into adulthood.
Read article in The Australian (Australia)

February 17, 2010

Cholesterol-lowering drugs increase risk of diabetes, study finds
Using drugs to lower cholesterol increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, research in Scotland suggests. An analysis of 13 studies involving the drugs, known as statins, found that they increased the chances of someone developing diabetes by 9 per cent.
Read article in The Scotsman (Scotland/UK)

February 17, 2010

Parkinson's class action approved
Lawsuit claims drugs turned patients into gambling addicts
An Ontario judge has approved a class-action lawsuit by Parkinson's patients who say a commonly used drug turned them into "relentless" gambling addicts, causing some to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Read article in the National Post (Canada)
Comment: The lawsuit deals with Permax, a drug developed by Eli Lilly, which was taken off the market in 2007 because of other, heart-related side effects. A growing number of studies have linked the drug to excessive gambling, sex addiction and other compulsive behaviour.

February 13, 2010

Orwellian Pills Spy on Your Compliance With Doctor's Orders
It sounds Orwellian—like science fiction. But the reality of every aspect of your biological processes being monitored by Big Pharma and your doctor—and whoever else might want to profit from it—is upon us. Novartis has just purchased the technology to encapsulate a chip inside a pill that allows doctors—and government and Big Pharma and and the compliance police—to monitor how well you're following orders to take pills.
Read article at gaia-health.com

February 4, 2010

Ghostbusters: Authors of a new study propose a strict ban on medical ghostwriting
A scientist who takes credit as an author on an article secretly written by a pharmaceutical company should face punishment like any other plagiarist
When students pawn someone else's work off as their own, they get expelled. But when some professors do the same thing, they get a "pat on the back," and maybe even a few extra bucks. Scientists credited for research articles that were secretly penned by ghostwriters from pharmaceutical companies often are not reprimanded for their misrepresentations; rather, their ranks and career trajectories often improve. Although this practice of undisclosed authors (with undisclosed commercial interests) writing articles under the pretense of unbiased scientific inquiry raises serious concerns about academic integrity, few institutions have policies to discourage it. The authors of a new study published in PLoS One hope to make medical ghostwriting a faux pas on par with plagiarism and data falsification.
Read article at scientificamerican.com

February 3, 2010

AstraZeneca Facing 26,000 Lawsuits Over Seroquel
AstraZeneca Plc is facing as many as 26,000 lawsuits over its antipsychotic drug Seroquel as the drugmaker prepares for its first jury trial over claims the medicine causes diabetes, according to court filings.
Read article at bloomberg.com

February 1, 2010

H1N1 flu shot sickness probed
The provincial health ministry is investigating 17 cases in which people fell seriously ill after the receipt of the H1N1 flu vaccine. Andrew Morrison, spokeman for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, said the cases include four vaccine recipients who came down with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) — a rare neurological condition characterized by sudden weakness or parlysis. Another 13 people came down with anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction which can include symptoms of anaphylactic shock, rapid heartbeat, itchiness in the skin and difficulty breathing.
Read article in the Toronto Sun (Canada)

January 30, 2010

'Corrupt' drug firm practices exposed
A Flinders University study has exposed "corrupt" drug company marketing practices including covering up adverse side effects and pushing patients on to new, more expensive drugs even when they are less effective. Psychiatrist Peter Parry and American colleague Glen Spielmans studied 400 internal emails and research documents unearthed mainly through court cases. "Drug marketing is a very sophisticated system which corrupts every part of the scientific and medical network," Dr Parry said.
Read article at news.com.au (Adelaide/Australia)

January 29, 2010

Judge refuses to dismiss Fosamax case, sets trial
A Manhattan federal judge refused on Friday to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that Merck & Co Inc's osteoporosis drug Fosamax caused jaw damage to an Indiana woman during the nearly eight years she took the pill. U.S. District Judge John Keenan described the case involving plaintiff Louise Maley, 69, as one of the "bellwether" trials in nationwide litigation over Fosamax, which has spawned close to 900 lawsuits.
Read news report at reuters.com

January 28, 2010

Franklin Co. judge awards $5.3 million in penalties against AstraZeneca
Franklin Circuit Judge Roger Crittenden has awarded $5.3 million in civil penalties against the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for violating Kentucky's Consumer Protection Act. In October, a jury handed down a $14.7 million verdict against AstraZeneca for defrauding the Medicaid program and Kentucky consumers by inflating prices of its prescription drugs. Crittenden found 5,391 violations of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act and awarded $1,000 per violation for a total civil penalty of $5,391,000.
Read article at kentucky.com (USA)

January 28, 2010

The Rise Of Marketing-Based Medicine
You’ve heard of evidence-based medicine. Well, a new paper summarizes a panoply of practices employed over the past two decades or so - ghostwriting, suppressing or spinning data, disease mongering and managing side effect perceptions among docs - that the authors call marketing-based medicine. And they rely on internal documents from litigation - such as the much-publicized lawsuits over antipsychotics and antidepressants - to illustrate their point. “While much excitement has been generated surrounding evidence-based medicine, internal documents from the pharmaceutical industry suggest that the publicly available evidence base may not accurately represent the underlying data regarding its products,” they write in Bioethical Inquiry (see here). “We propose that while evidence-based medicine is a noble ideal, marketing-based medicine is the current reality…
Read article at pharmalot.com

January 27, 2010

Drug firms 'drove swine flu pandemic warning to recoup £billions spent on research'
Drug companies manipulated the World Health Organisation into downgrading its definition of a pandemic so they could cash in on a swine flu outbreak, it is claimed. An inquiry heard yesterday that the WHO allegedly softened its criteria for declaring a H1N1 flu pandemic last spring - just weeks before announcing there was a worldwide outbreak. Critics said the decision was driven by pharmaceutical companies desperate to recoup the billions of pounds they had invested in researching and developing pandemic vaccines after the bird flu scares in 2006 and 2007.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

January 27, 2010

Miscarriages after flu vaccine
At least seven pregnant women have suffered a miscarriage or fetal deaths after being given the H1N1 vaccine in Hong Kong. Six had their cases reported to the Center for Health Protection of Hong Kong's Department of Health including four who had been pregnant for no longer than six months, the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po newspaper reported yesterday. The seventh, a 39-year-old woman, suffered a miscarriage last Thursday at Princess Margaret Hospital after taking the vaccine last month.
Read article in the Shanghai Daily (China)

January 27, 2010

Swine Flu Didn't Fly
For makers of the swine flu vaccine, 2009 was a year to remember. By June, CSL Limited's profits rose 63 percent above 2008 levels, while in the third quarter of 2009 - just about the time H1N1 contracts picked up steam - GlaxoSmithKine enjoyed a 30 percent jump in earnings to $2.19 billion. Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, which prevents H1N1, saw second quarter profits leap to 12 times what they were in that quarter of 2008. But in 2010, drug companies may get their comeuppance. On Tuesday, the Council of Europe launched an investigation into whether the World Health Organization (WHO) "faked" the swine flu pandemic to boost profits for vaccine manufacturers. The inquiry, held in Strasbourg, France, vindicates a worldwide movement of insiders, experts and elected officials who accuse the United Nations organization of misleading the world into buying millions of unnecessary vaccines.
Read article at truthout.org

January 27, 2010

Antidepressants Tied To Lactation Problems
Women who take several widely used antidepressants may experience delayed lactation after giving birth and may need additional support to achieve breastfeeding goals, according to a study to be published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The drugs in question are SSRIs, such as Glaxo’s Paxil, Pfizer’s Zoloft and Eli Lilly’s Prozac.
Read article at pharmalot.com

January 26, 2010

AstraZeneca 'suppressed' drug test data
The marketing team sued over a drug's alleged side effects tried to suppress key data, an ex-employee has claimed. Seroquel's former UK medical adviser told the BBC he was pressured to approve promotional material which said weight gain was not an issue.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

January 25, 2010

Pfizer Compensates Trovan Victims With N26 Million Each
Pfizer has agreed to pay N26 million to each family of the victims of its Trovan vaccine trials in Kano in 2006, provided there is proof of death or permanent incapacitation. About 200 people took part in the trials which resulted in the death of some patients and the permanent incapacitation of others. The Meningitis Trust Fund (MTF), a body set up to pay the compensation on behalf of Pfizer, said it has received over 600 applications from those who claimed they participated in the tests and want to be compensated.
Read article at allafrica.com

January 23, 2010

MP damns swine flu drugs lobby
A Welsh MP has raised concerns that the swine flu pandemic was exaggerated under pressure from the pharmaceutical industry. Newport West MP Paul Flynn believes the H1N1 pandemic is the latest is a long line of health scares – including Sars and new variant CJD – to be blown out of proportion. He has welcomed a hearing next week to determine whether the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) pandemic flu declaration in June was based on “objective epidemiological evidence or on pressure from the pharmaceutical lobby”. The left-wing Labour MP, who has tabled two motions in the House of Commons in a bid to expose “the pandemic that never was”, said: “We have had four major scares throughout the world of potential mass-killer pandemics but they have been exaggerated.
Read article at walesonline.co.uk (Wales/UK)

January 22, 2010

Tax and Spend: U.N.'s Rx for New World Medical Order
A member of a World Health Organization (WHO) panel of experts that is pondering new global taxes on e-mails, alcohol, tobacco, airline travel and consumer bank transactions, has charged that she was given only selective information at group meetings, that deliberations were rushed and that group was "manipulated" by the international pharmaceuticals industry.
Read article at foxnews.com

January 18, 2010

PACE to open hearings on 'falsified' swine flu pandemic
PACE is to open hearings on Monday on pharmaceutical companies' possible influence on the global swine flu campaign and on the World Health Organization, a Russian daily reported. The 47-nation Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is conducting an inquiry into an alleged conspiracy between the WHO, the pharmaceutical industry and scientists which could "expose millions of healthy people to the risk of side-effects of insufficiently tested vaccines," caused damage to public budgets and to health agencies' credibility, according to a PACE resolution. The motion was introduced by Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, head of the health committee, former German lawmaker and a specialist in lung disease, who called the current pandemic "one of the greatest medical scandals of the century." WHO declared the pandemic in June 2009 on the advice of a group of experts many of whom are believed to have financial ties with pharmaceutical giants like GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Novartis, and benefited from the production of drugs and H1N1 vaccines.
Read article on the RIA Novosti website (Russia)
Comment: Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has apparently said that Russia should withdraw from the WHO if the corruption suspicions are proven.

January 16, 2010

Swine flu was a textbook case of a scare
So swine flu – eventually found to be only a tenth as virulent as ordinary flu – passes into history as yet another massive scare. Hyped out of all proportion by drug companies and the World Health Organisation, this fooled our endlessly gullible politicians into spending £1 billion on vaccines which turned out not to be needed. Thus, quite predictably, did the swine flu panic follow the classic pattern of so many other scares before it, as Dr North and I analysed in our book on the phenomenon, Scared To Death. Tracing the history of many examples, we showed how the most damaging point in any scare, from BSE and salmonella in eggs to the Millennium Bug, comes when governments fall for the hype, needlessly costing us all billions of pounds.
Read article by Christopher Booker in the Sunday Telegraph (UK)

January 15, 2010

U.N.'s World Health Organization Eyeing Global Tax on Banking, Internet Activity
The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering a plan to ask governments to impose a global consumer tax on such things as Internet activity or everyday financial transactions like paying bills online. Such a scheme could raise "tens of billions of dollars" on behalf of the United Nations' public health arm from a broad base of consumers, which would then be used to transfer drug-making research, development and manufacturing capabilities, among other things, to the developing world. The multibillion-dollar "indirect consumer tax" is only one of a "suite of proposals" for financing the rapid transformation of the global medical industry that will go before WHO's 34-member supervisory Executive Board at its biannual meeting in Geneva.
Read article at foxnews.com (USA)
Comment: Ordinary people all over the world already bear the brunt of the pharmaceutical business with disease, paying for it not only through their pockets but also with their lives. Given therefore that the pharmaceutical industry’s total global sales were worth 773 billion dollars in 2008, any notion that drug-making needs to be funded by tens of billions of dollars of global consumer taxes is clearly absurd. This WHO plan should be vigorously opposed, as, far from transforming the global medical industry, it would simply result in still more money being put into the hands of the drug cartel.

January 15, 2010

Doc Faces Fraud In Pfizer Research Case
Federal prosecutors filed a health care fraud charge against Scott Reuben, who is accused of faking research for a dozen years in published studies suggesting Vioxx and Celebrex offered benefits after surgery. Court documents indicate Reuben, an anesthesiologist, agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a recommendation of a more lenient jail sentence of up to 10 years, a $250,000 fine and forfeiture of assets worth at least $50,000 received for the research, the Associated Press reports. Prosecutors allege the former chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Ma., sought and received research grants from drugmakers but never performed the studies. He fabricated patient data and submitted information to anesthesiology journals that unwittingly published it, the AP writes, citing court documents. Some of his research was not approved by an internal hospital review board and a probe later found 21 papers published in anesthesiology journals between 1996 and 2008 in which Reuben made up some or all data.
Read article at pharmalot.com

January 14, 2010

Suits allege harm from Pfizer quit-smoking drug
Three personal injury lawsuits were filed against Pfizer Inc on Thursday, claiming its smoking-cessation drug Chantix caused attempted suicides or death. The suits, all filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan by the same plaintiffs' law firm, claim Pfizer failed to notify doctors and patients about dangers the company allegedly knew about the pill -- including depression and suicidal thoughts--at the time the plaintiffs took the medicine.
Read news report at reuters.com

January 14, 2010

Thalidomide apology reaction mixed
Almost 50 years after the drug thalidomide was withdrawn in the UK the Government has apologised over the scandal - but some victims said it was too little, too late. The formal apology by Health Minister Mike O'Brien was greeted with a mixed reaction by campaigners who welcomed the move but pointed out the statement fell short of saying "sorry". Pregnant women were prescribed thalidomide between 1958 and 1961 as a treatment for morning sickness or insomnia, but it was withdrawn from sale after babies were born with limb deformities and other disabilities.
Read UK Press Association news report at google.com

January 13, 2010

Drug firm made to pay for pollution
SHANGHAI: Authorities have made a pharmaceutical company in Zhejiang province pay a compensation of 2.2 million yuan ($322,200) after it dumped more than 1,000 barrels of unprocessed, noxious waste in two counties in neighboring Anhui province last December. Environmental protection authorities held the company, Zhejiang Apeloa Tospo Pharmaceutics, responsible for the pollution in Lixin and Woyang counties, along with its waste processing contractor Xing Binghua, who is now wanted by the police. The chemical waste dumped in the two counties contains dichloromethane methanol and methane, which are categorized as hazardous waste chemicals under national regulations. The chemicals can cause eye diseases, blood poisoning and damage to the central nervous system, experts said.
Read article at chinadaily.com.cn (China)

January 13, 2010

Court Revives HRT Lawsuit Against Pfizer
Pennsylvania’s Superior Court reinstituted a lawsuit by finding that a woman was entitled to an exception to the two-year statute of limitations, because she couldn’t have reasonably known of an alleged link between her breast cancer and hormone-replacement therapy drugs before the publication of the Women’s Health Initiative Study in July 2002, The Legal Intelligencer reports. Despite a $1.5 million verdict in favor of Merle Simon, her lawsuit was dismissed because of the judgment. But the Superior Court said the trial judge shouldn’t have tossed her suit because it was filed within two years of the publication of the WHI study, which found HRT drugs increase the risk of breast cancer. Simon was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2002.
Read article at pharmalot.com

January 12, 2010

"Extraordinary" increases in drug prices: report
Prices for hundreds of brand-name drugs have soared since the beginning of the decade, especially those that treat depression, infections and heart disease, according to a U.S. government report on Monday. The nonpartisan General Accountability Office said it found "extraordinary price increases" for 321 brand-name drugs, with prices jumping by 100 percent to 499 percent - and in a few cases by more than 1,000 percent.
Read news report at reuters.com
Comment: The pharmaceutical industry is an investment industry driven by the profits of its shareholders. Improving human health is not its driving force. Artificially created and strategically developed over an entire century by the same investment groups that control the global petrochemical and chemical industries, its 12-month global sales amounted to 773 billion dollars (over three-quarters of a trillion) during 2008. Overall, the industry’s annual sales have risen by a staggering 380 billion dollars since 2001. Clearly, these latest price rises are designed to ensure that this skyrocketing increase in the industry’s annual income continues.

January 11, 2010

Swine flu: "They Organized the Panic". Inquiry into the Role of Big Pharma and WHO by Council of Europe
Bruno Odent interviews Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg
The German President of the Health Committee of the Council of Europe, Wolfgang Wodarg, is issuing accusations against the pharmaceutical lobbies and the governments. He has initiated the start of an investigation by that body concerning the role played by the pharmaceutical industry in the campaign of panic about the virus. Ex-member of the SPD, Wolfgang Wodarg is a doctor and epidemiologist. His request for a commission of inquiry into the role of pharmaceutical companies in the management of swine flu outbreak by WHO and the nation states was granted unanimously by the members of the Health Committee of the Council of Europe.
Read Bruno Odent's interview with Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg on the website of the Centre for Research on Globalization

January 7, 2010

WHO Advisor Secretly Pads Pockets with Big Pharma Money
A Finnish member of the World Health Organization board, an advisor on vaccines, has received 6 million Euros for his research center from the vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline. Although WHO promises transparency, this conflict of interest is not available for the public to see at WHO’s homepage. Professor Juhani Eskola is the director of the Finnish research vaccine program and a new member of the WHO group ‘Strategic Advisory Group of Experts’ (SAGE). SAGE recommends which vaccines -- and how many -- member countries should purchase for the pandemic.
Read article at foodconsumer.org

January 5, 2010

Zambians fume over failed AIDS trial
A Zambian traditional leader has fumed over reports that a number of his female subjects who underwent a microbicide gel clinical trials have contracted HIV, the virus that cause AIDS. Close to a quarter of volunteers that took part in a microbicide gel clinical trials in Southern Zambia contracted HIV, 12 months after the commencement of the trial. Zambian authorities have remained mute over the development while officials from the Microbicide Development Programme in Zambia and United Kingdom have pains to explain what went wrong during the clinical trials. Chief Mwanachingwala who presides over the affected site in Mazabuka of southern Zambia has expressed regret at the leaked results of the trials. The traditional leader has claimed that the Microbicide Development Programme enrolled illiterate and uneducated women who did not understand the nature of the clinical trials and its consequences.
Read article at africanews.com

January 4, 2010

EU to probe pharma over “false pandemic”
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is to hold an emergency debate and inquiry this month into the “influence” exerted by drugmakers on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) global H1N1 flu campaign. The text of the resolution approved by the Assembly calling for the debate and inquiry states that: “in order to promote their patented drugs and vaccines against flu, pharmaceutical companies influenced scientists and official agencies responsible for public health standards to alarm governments worldwide and make them squander tight health resources for inefficient vaccine strategies, and needlessly expose millions of healthy people to the risk of an unknown amount of side-effects of insufficiently tested vaccines.” The WHO’s “false pandemic” flu campaign is “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century,” according to Dr Wolfgang Wodarg, chairman the PACE Health Committee, who introduced the parliamentary motion.
Read article at pharmatimes.com

January 2, 2010

Harvard Teaching Hospitals Cap Outside Pay
The owner of two research hospitals affiliated with the Harvard Medical School has imposed restrictions on outside pay for two dozen senior officials who also sit on the boards of pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies. The limits come in the wake of growing criticism of the ties between industry and academia.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)