Pharmaceuticals

Thanks to Chantix, Quitting Smoking May Be Hazardous, Too

antismoking drug ChantixThe pharmaceutical company Pfizer "is preparing an advertising and public-relations campaign to counter concerns about its antismoking drug Chantix, once trumpeted as a potential billion-dollar-a-year blockbuster." So far, Pfizer has "run ads in five major newspapers in which its medical director explains Chantix's risk-benefit balance." The drug company will soon "start hosting ro

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Drug Companies: Marketing Machines Gone Awry

Prescription pillsNew York Times reporter Melody Petersen, who covered the pharmaceutical industry for four years, has now published a book titled Our Daily Meds: How the pharmaceutical companies transformed themselves into slick marketing machines and hooked the nation on prescription drugs.

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Pill Shills and Marketing Ills

Prescription pills"Prozac Nation: Revisited," a show that aired on U.S. National Public Radio member stations, "featured four prestigious medical experts discussing the controversial link between antidepressants and suicide. ... All four said that worries ...

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Unhealthy Practices at Public Hospitals

At an inquiry into the problems facing cash-strapped public hospitals in New South Wales, Australia, neurologist Dr Suzanne Hodgkinson explained that doctors sought financial support of drug companies. "I had insufficient clerical support and so as to try and remedy that I approached a company to help me with that on a temporary, part-time basis. ... Quite a few senior doctors do try to raise money to help with the provision of services," she said. Hodgkinson raised A$20,000 for the position, but would not name the drug company funder.

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More Heart Attacks for Merck

Prescription pillsTwo studies of internal Merck documents concluded that the pharmaceutical company had "violated scientific-publishing ethics by ghostwriting dozens of academic articles, and minimized the impact of patient deaths in its analyses of some human trials." The internal documents surfaced during l

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New Participatory Project: Maximum Weirdness: Tobacco Industry Brainstorming Documents

brainstormA rock cocaine cigarette filter? A cigarette that delivers birth control and sexual stimulant drugs to the smoker at the same time? A geriatric brand? All of these are actual ideas for new products and promotions that were recorded at cigarette company "brainstorming" meetings.

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Lavishing Doctors with Drug Money

Medicines Australia (MA), the peak drug industry lobby group, has unveiled details of how much its 42 member companies (and one non-member) spent in the last half of 2007 on each one of over 14,000 events that were designed to promote their drugs to doctors.

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Pricing Doctors

A proposal before the Massachusetts state Senate to ban drug company gifts to doctors is generating controversy. "To imply that doctors who have invested years and tens of thousands of dollars in their profession can be bought with a dinner or a package of Post-its is beneath contempt," wrote the husband of one doctor. But Dr. Daniel J.

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