NEWS ABOUT: pharmaceutical companies

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Should Drug Company Have Caved to Dying Boy?

Experts aren't so sure Chimerix made the right decision

(Newser) - Seven-year-old Joshua Hardy is improving after a social media campaign convinced a drug company to give him an experimental drug that could save his life. But the backlash has been intense, with numerous observers expressing concern over the idea of "crowdsourcing medical decisions," the Washington Post reports. The... More »

Drug Firm Caves, Helps Dying 7-Year-Old

Experimental drug could save his life

(Newser) - After a social media campaign—and an avalanche of bad publicity—a drug company has done a U-turn and agreed to give a dying 7-year-old boy an experimental drug that could save his life. The FDA allows "compassionate use"of unapproved drugs in such cases, but the Chimerix pharmaceutical... More »

FDA: Generic Morning-After Pills Available to All

Now generic alternatives can be sold over the counter to teenagers

(Newser) - Morning-after birth control just got cheaper and easier to buy, NPR reports. After a 10-year battle, the FDA published a letter saying that generic versions of the popular Plan B One-Step can be sold to customers without proof of age. That overruled an FDA decision in July granting Teva Pharmaceuticals... More »

Glaxo: We'll Stop Paying Doctors to Hawk Our Drugs

It's a big change in pharma industry

(Newser) - In what "appears to be a first for a major drug company," according to the New York Times , GlaxoSmithKline will stop paying doctors to promote its drugs under a new plan to be completed by 2016. The company's pharmaceutical sales reps will also no longer be paid... More »

Obama Seeks New Corporate Powers in Trade Pact

US corporations would be able to challenge foreign laws: memos

(Newser) - The Obama administration is trying to grant US corporations formidable new powers in a trade pact with 11 other countries—including the ability to challenge laws and regulations abroad. In memos obtained by the Huffington Post (see them here and here ) the US is also pressing other members of... More »

Why Doctors Pick $2K Drug Over Its $50 Cousin

Pricey Lucentis, cheaper Avastin 'same damn molecule': ophthalmologist

(Newser) - The prescription drugs Avastin and Lucentis both fight blindness in the elderly, and they're both made by the same company, Genentech, at what experts say is a similar production cost. The key difference between them: While an Avastin injection costs $50, a shot of Lucentis goes for $2,000.... More »

The New Guides on Statins Are Insane

Giving cholesterol drugs to healthy Americans is not the answer, 2 experts argue

(Newser) - The American Heart Association and the College of Cardiology want millions more healthy Americans to take cholesterol-lowering statins , which might sound like a good idea "if statins actually offered meaningful protection from heart disease; if they helped people live longer or better; and if they had minimal adverse side... More »

Big Pharma Paid for Seat at FDA Advisory Table

Gave up to $25K per meeting on painkiller safety

(Newser) - Drug companies shelled out in a big way to get a seat at meetings between the FDA and an advisory panel, paying up to $25,000 per meeting, the Washington Post reports based on hundreds of emails. The panel, which was funded by the money, helped the FDA evaluate painkiller... More »

Tylenol Caps Get New Warning

Acetaminophen overdose is top cause of liver failure in US

(Newser) - Acetaminophen overdose is the top cause of liver failure in the US—and concerns about the widespread pain-relief ingredient have been growing. Starting in October, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil will stick a new warning on the caps of Extra Strength Tylenol, reading: "Contains acetaminophen. Always read the label,... More »

Drug Giant's Secret to Success Is Bribery: Cops

China says it busts scheme by Glaxo, travel agencies to bribe doctors

(Newser) - China says it knows how a few Shanghai travel agencies were managing huge revenues without many bookings, and the explanation isn't pretty: They were involved in an extensive bribery scheme with executives from drug giant GlaxoSmithKline, authorities say. The firms are accused of teaming up to bribe doctors and... More »

Sofa-Treating Chemical Reborn as Major MS Drug

Analyst predicts $1.7B in Tecfidera sales by 2015

(Newser) - As a sofa-treating agent, dimethyl fumarate gave people blisters and rashes, but now it's getting a second chance—as a much ballyhooed multiple sclerosis drug called Tecfidera, whose sales could be enormous. Among doctors, there's "a strong consensus that Tecfidera offers a more favorable clinical profile than... More »

Jack Klugman's Quiet Legacy: Lifesaving Crusader

Actor shoved Congress to pass Orphan Drug Act of 1982

(Newser) - Most obituaries of Jack Klugman remember him for his roles on The Odd Couple and Quincy, M.E., but the actor had another legacy that few people remember, reports the Washington Post . Klugman was a fierce advocate of the Orphan Drug Act of 1982, a bill that aimed to provide... More »

Rise in Food Allergies Means Big Business for EpiPen

Mylan lobbies to relax prescription rules for epinephrine injections

(Newser) - With severe food allergies on the rise in the United States, anaphylactic reactions are an increasing problem, especially at schools. But, in most states, school nurses risk losing their license if they give an epinephrine injection to a student who does not have a prescription—even though up to a... More »

50 Years Later, Thalidomide Maker Apologizes

Morning sickness drug caused birth defects in the 1950s

(Newser) - The German pharmaceutical company that created the drug thalidomide apologized for the first time—after more than 50 years—for the thousands of children worldwide born with deformities because their mothers took the popular morning sickness medication. The CEO of Gruenenthal read the apology at a dedication of a statue... More »

Glaxo Buying Human Genome Sciences

After big drug failure in 2011, Human Genome failed to find higher bid

(Newser) - British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline is poised to announce a $2.8 billion takeover of Human Genome Sciences, perhaps as early as today, reports Reuters . US-based Human Genome, which uses the human DNA sequence to develop drugs, balked at Glaxo's original $2.6 billion offer and said it would go... More »

White House Made Deal With Big Pharma on Health Bill

Whether that's good or bad is open for debate

(Newser) - The White House cut a deal with the pharmaceutical industry to get health-care reform passed, a revelation getting renewed attention thanks to emails released by House Republicans, reports the New York Times . In one from 2009, Obama adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle tells a top industry lobbyist that the administration has agreed... More »

US to Big Pharma: Disclose What You Pay Docs

New rules aim to increase transparency

(Newser) - Studies have found that when doctors accept payments from drug companies, it can influence their treatment decisions—so the Obama administration will soon require drug companies to disclose those payments. The New York Times reports that around 25% of doctors receive cash from drug companies for consulting, speaking engagements, and... More »

Woman Found Dead at Historic CA Mansion

'Bizarre' death occurred two days after another 'tragic accident'

(Newser) - The girlfriend of a pharmaceutical company executive was found dead at a historic California mansion, her nude body hanging from a rope on a second-floor balcony with her hands tied behind her back and her feet bound. Rebecca Nalepa's body was discovered at the Coronado home of Jonah Shacknai,... More »

Global Patent Pool Scores 4 New AIDS Drugs

It's a major step to benefit poor nations battling disease

(Newser) - Gilead Sciences announced today that it will license four AIDS and hepatitis B drugs to an international patent pool, allowing cheap, generic versions to be produced for sale in low-income countries. The AIDS drugs, which include tenofovir and emtricitabine, represent a major upgrade on the treatments currently available in those... More »

FDA Takes Over 3 Tylenol Plants

Johnson & Johnson division under scrutiny for manufacturing practices

(Newser) - After multiple drug recalls and an FDA safety probe, federal authorities are taking control of three Tylenol plants, CNNMoney reports. The plants, run by Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil division, are in trouble for dodging federal manufacturing rules; now, the company has agreed to let the FDA supervise the three—... More »

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