Pharmaceuticals

Free Trip Drug Zones: Paris and Budapest

The world's third largest drug company, Sanofi-Aventis, sponsored a tour to Budapest and Paris for a "parliamentary and stakeholder working group" including representatives from British patient groups. The tour included "optional attendance" at lectures at the European Association of Cancer Research conference in Budapest and a presentation in Paris on cancer drugs used in France but not yet approved in Britain.

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The Tangled Web of Doctors, Drug Companies and Charities

"Around the country, doctors in private practice have set up tax-exempt charities into which drug companies and medical device makers are, with little fanfare, pouring donations — money that adds up to millions of dollars a year," Reed Abelson reports in the New York Times.

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Drug Companies Fail Transparency Test

A report by Consumers International, a global federation of consumer organisations, examined the corporate social responsibility policies of 20 major drug companies to test what information they disclose about sponsoring patient groups, funding disease awareness campaigns and offering hospitality to medical experts.

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CanWest Pushes Drug Ads in Canada

The Canadian government has until the end of June to respond to a legal action by CanWest MediaWorks, which wants to overturn the ban on direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. CanWest MediaWorks, which owns a national television network in Canada, lodged the claim in December 2005.

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Obesity Task Force Grows Fat With Drug Company Cash

Ray Moynihan reports in the British Medical Journal that the drug companies Roche and Abbott Laboratories provide approximately two-thirds of the funding of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), which has over £1m in cash reserves. Roche makes the anti-obesity drug Xenical while Abbott Laboratories makes Reductil. Dr.

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Antibiotic Trial Continues Despite Reported Threat to Children

A new antibiotic that has been found to cause four times the average rate of acute liver failure in adults continues in a trial for more than 900 children worldwide, despite criticism from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official and a study consultant. The drug, Ketek (internationally known as Telithromycin) is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, a French pharmaceutical firm with U.S.

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