The pharmaceutical company Merck agreed to a $650 million settlement to escape charges that it routinely overbilled the U.S. government for medicines.
"The American public deserves to know when someone is trying to persuade them." — U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, Thursday, January 17, 2008
Front Groups Beware of Full Frontal Scrutiny
Today, the Center for Media and Democracy and our partners at Consumer Reports WebWatch launched an exciting new project: Full Frontal Scrutiny. The site seeks to shine a light on front groups -- organizations that state a particular agenda, while hiding or obscuring their identity, membership or sponsorship, or all three. Google the term "front groups" and the number one return is CMD's extensive articles on its SourceWatch site.
The pharmaceutical companies Merck and Schering-Plough, which co-market the cholesterol drug Vytorin, "have gone into damage-control mode, taking out newspaper ads." The PR campaign follows the companies' reluctant publication of a study showing that neither of the drugs present in Vytorin "reduced the buildup of fatty plaque in arteries." The study "
The pharmaceutical industry is using a novel technique to cheer up people who suffer from clinical depression -- only publishing favorable studies about the effects of its antidepressant medications.
"Fibromyalgia is a real, widespread pain condition," stresses a woman in a television ad for Lyrica, a Pfizer drug that recently became "the first medicine approved to treat the pain condition." But some doctors have their doubts. These skeptics "say vague complaints of chronic pain do not add up to a disease. ... The condition cannot be linked to any environmental or biological causes." Even Dr.
The pharmaceutical industry often uses the need for research and development funds as an excuse for exorbitant drug prices. But a new study by Marc-Andre Gagnon and Dr.
As a paid corporate lobbyist, U.S. presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani helped Purdue Pharma defend its illegal activities to promote the drug Oxycontin, according to New York Times reporters Barry Meier and Eric Lipton. "As a celebrity, Mr.
"Meta-analyses," or reviews of several studies' worth of data on a single drug, influence patient care and healthcare policy. Increasingly, the people carrying out these meta-analyses have financial ties to drug companies. So researchers at Stanford and the University of California, San Francisco set out "to determine whether financial ties to one drug company are associated with favourable results or conclusions in meta-analyses on antihypertensive drugs," which are taken to lower blood pressure.