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US: Drug Makers Scrutinized Over Grants
by Gardiner HarrisThe New York Times
January 11th, 2006
A Congressional investigation of the money that drug companies give as supposed educational grants has found that the payments are growing rapidly and are sometimes steered by marketing executives to doctors and groups who push unapproved uses of drugs.

US: Abbott Suit Granted Class-Action Status
Associated Press
January 4th, 2006
A federal judge has granted class-action status to a lawsuit accusing Abbott Laboratories Inc. of cheating older workers out of retirement benefits when it spun off its hospital equipment business in 2004.

US: Feds Not Told of 2 Deaths During Study of Heart Drug
by Stephanie SaulThe New York Times
January 4th, 2006
The Scios unit of Johnson & Johnson yesterday added to the questions already clouding its heart failure medication Natrecor, saying the company had failed to tell federal regulators about the deaths of two patients in a clinical trial of the drug.

US: Opposition to Drug Co. Liability Protection Grows
by  Brendan CoyneThe New Standard
January 2nd, 2006
With enactment of a $453 billion defense spending bill at hand, opposition is growing over a provision granting pharmaceutical companies wide protection from lawsuits.

US: F.D.A. Puts Restrictions on Guidant
by Vikas BajajThe New York Times
December 28th, 2005
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday released a warning letter it sent to the Guidant Corporation, restricting the ability of the company to win approval for some new medical products. In the letter, sent a week ago, the agency said Guidant, the heart device maker, had not fully responded to its concerns about manufacturing procedures at the company's biggest plant.

US: On Opinion Page, a Lobby's Hand Is Often Unseen
by Philip ShenonThe New York Times
December 23rd, 2005

US: Lilly Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Violation
Reuters
December 21st, 2005
Eli Lilly and Co. said on Wednesday it will plead guilty to a misdemeanor violation as part of a settlement with the government over its marketing and promotional practices for an osteoporosis drug.

AFRICA: Death By Dilution
by Robert CockburnAmerican Prospect
December 20th, 2005
When fakes of a GlaxoSmithKline anti-malarial drug turned up in Africa, authorities assumed the drug giant would want to know. Instead, they learned about a huge, evil trade in fake drugs -- and about an industry that doesn’t want the truth to get out.

INDIA: Testing Drugs on India's Poor
by Scott CarneyWired
December 19th, 2005
Multinational corporations are riding high on the trend toward globalization by taking advantage of India's educated work force and deep poverty to turn South Asia into the world's largest clinical-testing petri dish.

US: Gimme an Rx! Cheerleaders Pep Up Drug Sales
by Stephanie SaulNew York Times
November 28th, 2005
Sales representatives in the pharmaceutical industry are frequently female and invariably good looking because they are.drawn from the ranks of cheerleaders to sway the hearts of the nation's doctors, who still are mostly men.

US: Small-town doctor takes on corporate health-care giant
by Tony MessengerColumbia (MO) Daily Tribune
November 15th, 2005

GLOBAL: World Bank Gets Cold Feet on Bird Flu Drug Patent
by Marwaan Macan-MarkarInter Press Service
November 4th, 2005
The World Bank has decided that it is not in keeping with its mission to get involved in the emerging global debate on the Tamilfu patent held by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche and that could be broken under the 'compulsory licencing' rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

U.S.: Fiction Genre Fits Big Pharma
by Michael HiltzikLA Times
October 27th, 2005
According to a proposal, PhRMA was to pay Phoenix a six-figure sum for the marketing and production of a written-to-order fictional thriller. The plotline was what Hollywood would term high-concept — a group of shadowy terrorists conspires to murder thousands of Americans by poisoning the medicine they're importing from Canada to beat U.S. drug prices. PhRMA subsequently pulled the plug on the deal.

US: Watchdog group says company manipulated study of asthma drug Serevent to lower appearance of fatal risk
by Roni RabinNew York Newsday
October 7th, 2005
A consumer watchdog group has accused the makers of a popular asthma drug of manipulating safety data submitted to the FDA two years ago to create the impression the drug Serevent is safer than it is.

US: California Accuses Drug Companies of Fraud
by John M. BroderThe New York Times
August 26th, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25 - The attorney general of California sued 39 drug companies on Thursday, accusing them of bilking the state of hundreds of millions of dollars by overcharging for medicines.

US: Vioxx Verdict Raises Profile of Texas Lawyer
by Alex BerensonThe New York Times
August 22nd, 2005
Merck is found liable for the death of Robert C. Ernst, who died in 2001 after taking Merck's painkiller Vioxx for eight months. The jury awarded $253.5 million to Carol Ernst, Mr. Ernst's widow and Mr. Lanier's client, in one of the largest damage awards ever to a single plaintiff.

US: Drug Industry Creates Voluntary Ad Guidelines
by Jennifer Corbett DoorenDow Jones
August 3rd, 2005
Responding to increased criticism from Congress, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, announced a set of voluntary guidelines aimed at governing the way drugs are advertised to consumers.

US: Justices Uphold Taking Property for Development
by Linda GreenhouseNew York Times
June 24th, 2005
The Supreme Court ruled, in one of its most closely watched property rights cases in years, that fostering economic development is an appropriate use of the government's power of eminent domain.

US: Pharmaceutical Giant Will Curb Ads Aimed at Patients
Associated Press
June 15th, 2005
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. won't push new drugs in that way for at least a year. The change comes amid criticism of the industrywide practice.

INDIA: Medical Companies Joining Offshore Trend, Too
by Andrew PollackThe New York Times
February 24th, 2005
The relentless shifting of employment to countries like India and China that has occurred in manufacturing, back-office work and computer programming is now spreading to a crown jewel of corporate America: the medical and drug industries.

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