Pharmaceuticals

Sickening Amounts of Healthcare Lobbying

The healthcare industry is waging a "record-breaking influence campaign," spending "more than $1.4 million a day on lobbying," reports the Washington Post. "The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) doubled its spending to nearly $7 million in the first quarter of 2009, followed by Pfizer, with more than $6 million" spent in just three months.

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Bristol-Myers' "Celebrity Patient" Goes off Script

The Wall Street Journal has published a revealing story about one of the seamier sides of the drug industry's marketing campaigns: paying patients to offer testimonials about their drugs. As health industry observer Merrill Goozner explains, the story came to light because a "celebrity patient" had a "falling out with his corporate sponsor, Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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Psychotic Marketing for an Antipsychotic Drug

Public relations and planning documents from AstraZeneca discuss promoting "off-label" or unapproved uses for the company's drug Seroquel. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Seroquel for schizophrenia, psychotic and bipolar disorders among adults.

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Another Bone to Pick with Merck

The pharmaceutical company Merck "paid an undisclosed sum to Elsevier to produce several volumes of a publication that had the look of a peer-reviewed medical journal, but contained only reprinted or summarized articles -- most of which presented data favorable to Merck products." The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine carried "ads for Fosamax, a Merck drug for osteoporosis, and Vioxx" and "appeared to act solely as market

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