Johnson & Johnson's biopharmaceutical unit, Centocor, "has developed a documentary film to serve as the centerpiece of a national campaign," reports O'Dwyer's. The movie, "Innerstate," follows "three patients living with chronic diseases like Crohn's disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis -- ailments for which Centocor markets treatments.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is holding hearings on "waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars"; topics include Iraq reconstruction, Homeland Security contracting, and prescription drug pricing. Companies called to testify are "scrambling to hire lobbyists with Democratic ties," reports Bloomberg.
A new study "funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published in the Jan. 29 Annals of Family Medicine, claims the $4.5 billion" direct-to-consumer drug ad (DTC) industry "produces ads that are more emotional than informational, and may be convincing Americans that they're sicker than they really are," reports Advertising Age.
A University of Pittsburgh child psychiatrist who conducted company-sponsored clinical trials on adolescent use of the antidepressant Paxil also conferred with the company on how to respond to press inquiries challenging the safety of the drug for adolescents, reports the BBC investigative program, Panorama. The psychiatrist, Dr. Neal Ryan, sent emails to GlaxoSmithKline dating to 2002 requesting media advice.
Medical researchers at George Washington University have launched a new website, PharmedOut, which is designed to help doctors "identify and counter inappropriate pharmaceutical promotion practices." It also provides links to over 100 continuing medical education (CME) courses that have been developed without drug industry funding.