The drug industry is bracing itself for major legislative changes once the new Congress sits. Forbes journalist Matthew Herper notes that, following the mid-term elections, major drug company shares have dropped by over 5%.
Even though the European Medicines Agency has endorsed the use of Prozac and similar drugs in children over eight, medical researchers doubt the appropriateness of prescribing such powerful drugs in all but rare cases.
Adriane Fugh-Berman, an Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, recounts her experience of speaking at a recent medical conference in New Mexico on the topic of drug industry influence in medical education. "Immediately after my talk, one pharmaceutical company representative announced to a conference organiser that her company would no longer support the annual conference. Another packed up his exhibit and walked out," she writes in the British Medical Journal.
A coalition of unions, women's and health groups have been granted intervenor status in a case in which CanWest MediaWorks is seeking to overturn the Canadian government's ban on direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA). The groups argue that if CanWest is successful it would push up healthcare costs and undermine the sustainability of the Canadian healthcare system.