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US: Hospital Chiefs Get Paid for Advice on Selling
by Walt Bogdanich The New York Times
July 17th, 2006
One recent sun-splashed afternoon, executives who run some of America's leading nonprofit hospitals met at a stately Colorado resort for an unusual mission: to advise companies confidentially on how best to sell their drugs, medical devices and financial services to hospitals.

WORLD: Prices Soar for Cancer Drugs
by Liz SzaboUSA Today
July 10th, 2006
Spiraling prices for new cancer therapies up to $10,000 a month for a single drug are causing alarm among patients and insurance companies.

INDIA: Petri Dish for Pharmaceutical MNCs
by Ann De RonInter Press News Service
July 10th, 2006
Pharmaceutical multinationals, seeking to ramp up profits through cheap drug trials, are increasingly turning to India with its combination of a vast pool of poor, ignorant patients on the one hand and skilled medical personnel and fine research infrastructure on the other.

US: Johnson & Johnson Told to Pay Damages in Pain-Patch Death
Bloomberg News
July 8th, 2006
Jurors in a state court in Houston decided yesterday that Johnson & Johnson, the consumer health care company, must pay $772,500 to the family of a Texas woman who died after a patch intended to release pain-killing drugs leaked.

US: Vioxx 'a Hazard,' Doctor Testifies
The Associated Press
July 6th, 2006
Patients who took the painkiller Vioxx were at risk of heart attacks and strokes something shown by studies conducted years before the product went on the market, a doctor testified Wednesday.

US: Another Merck Drug Is Under Legal Attack
by Molly SelvinThe Los Angeles Times
July 5th, 2006
As Merck & Co. defends itself against a deluge of litigation involving its pain reliever Vioxx, the pharmaceutical giant also is fielding the first of what could be another wave of lawsuits involving Fosamax, its second-biggest seller.

US: Petitions to FDA Sometimes Delay Generic Drugs
by Marc KaufmanThe Washington Post
July 3rd, 2006
A procedure designed to alert the Food and Drug Administration to scientific and safety issues is getting a hard look from members of Congress, who say they are concerned that it may be getting subverted by the brand-name drug industry.

US: Charities Tied to Doctors Get Drug Industry Gifts
by Reed AbelsonThe New York Times
June 28th, 2006
Around the country, doctors in private practice have set up tax-exempt charities into which drug companies and medical device makers are, with little fanfare, pouring donations money that adds up to millions of dollars a year. And some medical experts see that as a big problem.

EUROPE: Drug Firms Attacked on Marketing
BBC News
June 27th, 2006
The Consumers International lobby group accused drugmakers of using the methods to get doctors to prescribe products and persuade consumers they need them.

US: Correction to Study Shows Vioxx Risks Appeared Early on
The Associated Press
June 26th, 2006
A correction published Monday to a key study on withdrawn painkiller Vioxx reveals the risk of heart problems was elevated throughout the time people were on the drug and did not develop only after 18 months of use as the drug's maker, Merck & Co., has contended.

US: Drug Firms a Danger to Health Report
by Sarah BoseleyThe Guardian (UK)
June 26th, 2006
Drug companies are accused today of endangering public health through widescale marketing malpractices, ranging from covertly attempting to persuade consumers that they are ill to bribing doctors and misrepresenting the results of safety and efficacy tests on their products.

US: Merck's Zocor Deal Stirs Ill Will
The Associated Press
June 22nd, 2006
The pharmaceutical firm slashes the price of its cholesterol drug for one insurance plan. Generic maker Teva weighs legal action.

US: Drug Prices Up Sharply This Year
by Milt FreudenheimThe New York Times
June 21st, 2006
Prices of the most widely used prescription drugs rose sharply in this year's first quarter, just as the new Medicare drug coverage program was going into effect, according to separate studies issued yesterday by two large consumer advocacy groups.

US: Drugs firm blocks cheap blindness cure
by Sarah BoseleyThe Guardian
June 17th, 2006
A major drug company is blocking access to a medicine that is cheaply and effectively saving thousands of people from going blind because it wants to launch a more expensive product on the market.

UK: Drugs Firm Blocks Cheap Blindness Cure
by Sarah BoseleyThe Guardian (UK)
June 17th, 2006
A major drug company is blocking access to a medicine that is cheaply and effectively saving thousands of people from going blind because it wants to launch a more expensive product on the market.

US: Lawyer: Merck Scrapped Study on Vioxx
by Linda A. JohnsonThe Associated Press
June 16th, 2006
Merck & Co. scrapped a planned study of the cardiac safety of Vioxx once it knew U.S. regulators were going to tone down their warning about heart risks for patients taking the painkiller, a plaintiff's lawyer argued Friday in a product liability trial.

US: Drugmaker to Pay $8.5 Million to Settle Texas Medicaid Lawsuit
Bloomberg News
June 13th, 2006
Baxter International Inc., the world's biggest maker of blood-disease treatments, has agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle a suit alleging it falsely reported the prices of drugs to the Texas Medicaid system.

US: Grandmother Takes on Merck in Vioxx Trial
by LINDA A. JOHNSONAssociated Press
June 5th, 2006
Drug maker Merck & Co. repeatedly tried to downplay the cardiac risks of its painkiller Vioxx, so user Elaine Doherty didn't know about them and couldn't control them before she suffered a heart attack after taking the drug, her lawyer told jurors as a product liability trial began Monday.

US: Merck Admits a Data Error on Vioxx
by Alex BerensonNew York Times
May 31st, 2006
In an admission that could undermine one of its core defenses in Vioxx-related lawsuits, Merck said yesterday that it had erred when it reported in early 2005 that a crucial statistical test showed that Vioxx caused heart problems only after 18 months of continuous use.

US: FDA Warns Wyeth on Quality at Puerto Rico Plant
RUETERS
May 30th, 2006
Possible contaminants in headache remedies, hormone replacement therapy and other pills made at Wyeth's (WYE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) plant in Puerto Rico have not been adequately checked out or corrected, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday.

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