U.S. Lobbies Against U.K. Drug System

US Deputy Health Secretary, Alex Azar, is lobbying the Britain's Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, to ease restrictions on the drug industry. In particular, the U.S. drug companies want the ban on direct-to-consumer advertising dropped and to increase the prices the government pays for drugs.


Drug Company Pulls Funding After Conference Criticism

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.


Opposition Builds to CanWest's Bid to Kill Canada's Drug Ads Ban

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.


Degrees of Dependency: Drug Companies & Patient Groups

In a survey of 29 U.S. patient groups, New Scientist found only two ruled out drug company funding. Seven of the patient groups surveyed received less than 5% of their income from drug companies, while others were reliant on them for over one-third of their budget.


Drug Company Takes Rap for Burson-Marsteller's Cash Offer to Journalists

The U.K. drug industry's self regulatory body, the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), has censured Janssen-Cilag after an employee from its PR firm, Burson-Marsteller (B-M), offered journalists cash if they attended a hearing of the government drug regulator.



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