Pharmaceuticals

Featured Participatory Project: Eli Lilly's Contributions to Patient and Other Groups

In May of this year, the drug company Eli Lilly announced that it would post details of "all educational grant funding and other monetary contributions provided to U.S.-based organizations" into an online database. Tucked away amongst the numerous grants made in the first six months of 2007 are details of funds provided to patient groups, various research centres and a sprinkling of political groups.

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When Drug Industry Flacks Attack

Following Dr. Steven Nissen's publication of a study warning that "GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug Avandia increased the risk of heart attacks by 43% and death from cardiovascular events by possibly 64%," he was publicly pilloried. "More than one story from ostensibly different sources" derisively referred to him as "St Steven," the "Patron Saint of Drug Safety," and "Saint Steven the Pure," reports Evelyn Pringle. Among the attackers was FDA spokesman Douglas Arbesfeld.

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Rapper Mocks Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads

The New Jersey rapper, Sudden Death, has launched a free-to-play track which mocks the drug industry's direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA). The song, titled Pillagers, describes the experience of a man taking two dozen pills for various conditions being prescribed the notional drug Liquiplox that "relaxes the lining of your throat making it easier to take pills". "Liquiplox isn't for everyone.

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The Spin Doctor Will See You Now

"If I had to do it all over again, I don't think I would use the Ontario system," said Canadian cancer patient Lindsay McGreith. "I would get my wife to drive me to Buffalo, because I know in Buffalo you'd get looked after, whereas here you'd just sit for seven and a half hours. ...

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Disclosure May Derail Doctors' Gravy Train

Medicines Australia, the drug industry's peak lobby group, has lost a legal bid to protect member companies from being required to disclose details of hospitality they provide at "educational" events for doctors.

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Health Groups Dismiss Drug Ads Report As 'Biased'

A report by the European Commission (EC), which favours weaker regulatory standards on the advertising of prescription drugs, has been dismissed as biased by a coalition of consumer groups and health professionals.

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