Pharmaceuticals

Orrin Hatch's Drug Problems

"At the same time the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) was paying one of [Senator Orrin G. Hatch's] sons, Scott, to be its lobbyist in Congress," it and its drug company members were making major donations to a nonprofit organization that Senator Hatch helped found and actively supports.

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This Is Your University, on Drugs

In 2002, an independent study on hormone replacement therapy was halted, because the drugs were strongly linked to an "increased risk for breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots" in women. The same year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison began offering an online course, "funded entirely by a $12 million grant from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals," that "promoted hormone therapy, touted its benefits and downplayed its risks." Wyeth makes two hormone therapy drugs, Prempro and Premarin.

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Eli Lilly Finally Pays for Drug Marketing Abuses

Eli Lilly will pay the largest fine "in a health care case, and the largest criminal fine for an individual corporation ever imposed in a U.S. criminal prosecution of any kind." The pharmaceutical company will pay $1.42 billion to settle criminal and civil charges related to the marketing of its anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa.

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How Wyeth Bought Science that Sells

According to internal documents, the pharmaceutical company Wyeth "paid ghostwriters to produce medical journal articles favorable to its female hormone replacement therapy Prempro." As early as 1997, Wyeth paid the "medical writing firm" DesignWrite to publish favorable journal articles about Prempro under academics' names.

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Pharma See, Pharma Sue

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has strongly condemned a new lawsuit by the Apotex pharmaceutical company against Dr. Nancy Olivieri. As a liver specialist at the University of Toronto, Olivieri first came under attack from Apotex in 1996 when she notified her patients that she had detected toxic side effects while conducting an Apotex-sponsored study of the company's drug, deferiphone.

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The Media Buries the Message: Tobacco Prevention vs. High-Cost Drugs

StatinsCholesterol-reducing drugs called statins have been in the news lately following the release of a major medical study that found that statins can prevent heart disease and stroke in people with no previous history of heart disease.

Statins are among the biggest-selling family of drugs of all time. Many articles about the study mentioned above, including one on the credible web site WebMD, also mention the specific drug used in the study: Crestor.

The study has generated hundreds of articles, most of which repeat the same basic framing of the issue: if heart disease is the problem, a drug is the answer.

Industry Tries to Sell Congress on Drugs

A $13.2 million ad campaign thanks 28 members of Congress, 25 of whom are Democrats, "for supporting a children's health-care bill vetoed twice by President George W. Bush in 2007." The ads are by America's Agenda: Health Care for Kids, a new non-profit group whose sole funder is the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

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