19 Stories

Pharma Ghostwriters Penned Medical Papers on HRT

Drug firms may play bigger role than thought in medical lit

(Newser) - Ghostwriters funded by a drug firm were deeply involved in writing papers supporting therapies that helped the firm’s sales boom, court papers show. The 26 scientific papers, published in medical journals from 1998 to 2005, highlighted the benefits of hormone replacement therapy over the risks, a boon to Wyeth,... More »

Home Sales Send Dow Over 9,000

(Newser) - The Dow Jones industrials are back above 9,000 today for the first time since the beginning of January. A report of a jump in home sales eased investors' worries about one of the economy's biggest trouble spots. They responded by buying stocks across the market, lifting the major indexes... More »

She'd Still Rather Have the Arm, But the $6.7M Will Help

$6.7m award will make life easier, but is no substitute for arm lost in botched injection

(Newser) - Millions of dollars and a landmark Supreme Court victory is great—"The fact that the justice system worked, it's pretty impressive"—but it's still no substitute for a right arm, musician Diana Levine tells the AP. Levine, whose arm was amputated in 2000 after she developed gangrene from... More »

Justices Reject Limits on Drug Lawsuits

Ruling makes pharma responsible for labels

(Newser) - In a strong blow to drugmakers, the Supreme Court ruled today in favor of a Vermont woman who lost her arm after taking an anti-nausea drug made by Wyeth, the Wall Street Journal reports. The court upheld the ruling of a Vermont court that awarded guitarist Diana Levine $6.7... More »

Pfizer Deal's $22.5B in Loans Hasn't Unlocked Credit

$22.5B loan in deal to acquire Wyeth comes at 7-9% interest, and lenders can walk

(Newser) - Think Pfizer’s $68 billion deal to buy Wyeth, financed in part with $22.5 billion in loans, means credit markets have thawed? Think again, the Wall Street Journal reports. Pfizer’s lenders—including JPMorgan, Bank of America, Goldman, and Citigroup—are charging high interest (7%-9%, with loans due in... More »

Stocks Shrug Off Job Losses

Pfizer deal drives gains

(Newser) - Pfizer’s massive deal to buy Wyeth helped investors shrug off the bloodbath at Caterpillar, Home Depot and Sprint-Nextel this morning, sending indexes slightly higher at the open. The Dow rose 55 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq rose 11 and 18 points respectively. Caterpillar fell 10% pre-market after... More »

Pfizer Snaps Up Wyeth for $68B

Merger would be largest pharma deal since GlaxoWellcome-SmithKline 2000 merger

(Newser) - The world’s largest drugmaker, Pfizer, is poised to become even more gargantuan after it agreed early this morning to buy rival Wyeth for $68 billion, reports the Wall Street Journal. In the first major merger to hit Wall Street in months, Pfizer will borrow $22.5 billion from four... More »

Pfizer in Talks to Buy Wyeth

Sources say drug maker plans $60B acquisition of rival Wyeth

(Newser) - Pfizer is seeking to create a Big Pharma behemoth with the acquisition of rival Wyeth, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal. The deal, expected to be worth around $60 billion, would make Pfizer—already the world's biggest drug company—big enough to redraw the map of the industry, although sources... More »

Supremes Won't Air Dirty Laundry

Court will delay release of tapes of arguments in indecency case

(Newser) - Election Day is likely to inspire swearing in some places and sure to see off-color language in one unlikely locale: the Supreme Court. But the American public will have to wait until next summer to hear tomorrow's oral arguments in a landmark indecency case, FCC vs. Fox, the Justices... More »

Profanity, Tobacco Cases Top Court's New Term

Judges to decide on consumers' right to sue drug, tobacco companies

(Newser) - The Supreme Court and its Bush-era conservative additions launch a second term today, set to consider "pre-emption" cases that determine whether federal regulation makes drug and tobacco companies immune from state-level lawsuits. Other cases will determine penalties against profanity on radio or TV, a major sexual harassment question, and... More »

Alzheimer's Drug Shows Some Promise

Bapineuzumab could be a blockbuster if it passes final trials

(Newser) - A drug currently in experimental trials seems to be effective in battling Alzheimer's disease, the pharmaceutical companies developing it tell the Wall Street Journal. Bapineuzumab—developed by Elan and Wyeth—seems to be helpful in improving cognitive ability in those stricken by the disease, though much more so in patients... More »

Women at Risk After Hormone Therapy: Study

Breast cancer risk continues, but other health threats diminish

(Newser) - Breast cancer remains a risk for women even after they stop taking hormone therapy, researchers said yesterday. A follow-up to a 2002 study showed that women who dropped estrogen and progestin still had a 24% greater breast cancer risk. But their chance of a stroke, heart attack, or blood clot... More »

Feds OK Wyeth's New Antidepressant

Faced with generic threats to its popular Effexor XR, company banking on Pristiq

(Newser) - Antidepressant Effexor XR will soon lose patent protection, and maker Wyeth is hoping Pristiq, the successor drug approved today by the FDA, will soften the financial blow. Higher-ups at the company gush over Pristiq's advantages, including zero acclimation time and no liver interaction, and hope that sales will offset losses... More »

Antidepressants Mostly Useless, Study Finds

Prozac and others make a difference only in most extreme cases

(Newser) - Big Pharma swallowed a bitter pill yesterday as Prozac and other antidepressants were found in a UK study to be largely ineffectual in all but the most extreme cases of depression. The meta-analysis of 47 clinical trials submitted to the FDA with licensing applications for six popular antidepressants concluded that... More »

Puerto Rican Drug Plants Shipped Tainted Pills: FDA

Quality control a problem at factories producing US' top-selling drugs

(Newser) - The Caribbean island that produces 13 of the 20 best-selling drugs in the US has sold tainted pills and is struggling with quality control at its pharmaceutical plants, AP reports.  FDA inspections of 13 Puerto Rican plants between 2003 and 2007 revealed problems such as machinery pins left in... More »

Antidepressant Studies Distort Drugs' Usefulness

New study says negative reports often go unpublished

(Newser) - Roughly half of the medical studies involving antidepressants that found little or no effect on patients have gone unpublished or had their findings mischaracterized as positive, a new study reveals. The emphasis on publishing only studies with glowing reviews gives patients and doctors a false sense of the effectiveness of... More »

Jury Adds Punitive $99M in Hormone Cancer Suit

Menopause pills cost Wyeth total of $134M

(Newser) - A Nevada jury has tacked on an additional $99 million in punitive damages against the Wyeth pharmaceutical company after ruling in favor of three women who argued that the drug maker's hormone replacement therapy caused their breast cancer. That amount, added to compensatory damages determined last week, makes the total... More »

Overdose Fears Prompt Recall of Infant Drugs

Danger found in cough and cold medicines for kids under 2

(Newser) - Several drugmakers have recalled over-the-counter cough and cold products for infants over concerns about fatal overdoses, Reuters reports. Johnson & Johnson Wyeth and Novartis are among those recalling medicines; CVS said it will remove the products and generic equivalents. One professor took the criticism one step further: “There are... More »

FDA Approves No-Period Birth Control Pill

Drug from Wyeth includes 28 days of low-dose hormones

(Newser) - The FDA yesterday approved Lybrel, the birth control pill designed to stop women's periods for as long as they're on the medication, the AP reports. Unlike most other contraceptive pills, which consist of  21 daily doses of hormone treatments and 7 days of sugar pills, Lybrel contains 28 daily doses... More »

19 Stories