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US: Merck Wrote Drug Studies for Doctors
by STEPHANIE SAULThe New York Times
April 16th, 2008
The drug maker Merck drafted dozens of research studies for a best-selling drug, then lined up prestigious doctors to put their names on the reports before publication, according to an article to be published Wednesday in a leading medical journal.

US: Drug Companies to Reveal Grant Practices
by THE ASSOCIATED PRESSThe New York Times
April 11th, 2008
Watchdog groups say the companies are trying to derail legislation that would require public disclosure of their giving.

US: Drug Makers Near Old Goal: A Legal Shield
by GARDINER HARRIS and ALEX BERENSONThe New York Times
April 6th, 2008
The Bush administration has argued strongly in favor of the doctrine, which holds that the F.D.A. is the only agency with enough expertise to regulate drug makers and that its decisions should not be second-guessed by courts. The Supreme Court is to rule on a case next term that could make pre-emption a legal standard for drug cases. The court already ruled in February that many suits against the makers of medical devices like pacemakers are pre-empted.

US: Eli Lilly E-Mail Discussed Unapproved Use of Drug
by ALEX BERENSONThe New York Times
March 17th, 2008
John C. Lechleiter, an Eli Lilly official who is about to become the company's top executive, wrote an e-mail message in 2003 that appears to have encouraged Lilly to promote its schizophrenia medicine Zyprexa for a use not approved by federal drug regulators.

US: In Trial, Alaska Says Lilly Concealed Risks of a Schizophrenia Drug
by ALEX BERENSONThe New York Times
March 6th, 2008
Eli Lilly, the drug maker, systematically hid the risks and side effects of Zyprexa, its best-selling schizophrenia medicine, a lawyer for the State of Alaska said Wednesday in opening arguments in a lawsuit that contends the drug caused many schizophrenic patients to develop diabetes.

US: Court Considers Protecting Drug Makers From Lawsuits
by GARDINER HARRISThe New York Times
February 26th, 2008
Less than a week after issuing a sweeping ruling that bars most lawsuits against medical device makers, the Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in the first of two cases that could determine whether drug makers receive similar protection.

US: Pfizer to End Lipitor Ads by Jarvik
by STEPHANIE SAULThe New York Times
February 26th, 2008
Under criticism that its ads are misleading, Pfizer said Monday that it would cancel a long-running advertising campaign using the artificial heart pioneer Robert Jarvik as a spokesman for its cholesterol drug Lipitor.

CHINA: China Plant Played Role In Drug Tied to 4 Deaths
by ANNA WILDE MATHEWS and THOMAS M. BURTONThe Wall Street Journal
February 14th, 2008
A Chinese facility that hasn't been inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made the active ingredient in much of the widely used Baxter International Inc. blood-thinner that is under investigation after reports of hundreds of allergic reactions and four deaths among the drug's users, the agency said yesterday.

US: Committee Investigates Ad Tactics for Lipitor
by Stephanie SaulNew York Times
February 8th, 2008
A Congressional investigation revealed that Pfizer agreed to pay Dr. Jarvik $1,350,000 as a celebrity pitchman for the heart drug Lipitor, and wants to know how much stunt doubles in the ads may have also been paid.

US: Drug Ads Raise Questions for Heart Pioneer
by STEPHANIE SAULThe New York Times
February 7th, 2008
Celebrity advertising endorsements are nothing new, of course. But the Lipitor campaign is a rare instance of a well-known doctor’s endorsing a drug in advertising — and it has helped rekindle a smoldering debate over whether it is appropriate to aim ads for prescription drugs directly at consumers.

CHINA: Tainted Drugs Tied to Maker of Abortion Pill
by JAKE HOOKER and WALT BOGDANICHThe New York Times
January 31st, 2008
A huge state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company that exports to dozens of countries, including the United States, is at the center of a nationwide drug scandal after nearly 200 Chinese cancer patients were paralyzed or otherwise harmed last summer by contaminated leukemia drugs.

GLOBAL: False 'Green' Ads Draw Global Scrutiny
by Tom WrightWall Street Journal
January 30th, 2008
With companies eager to tout their "green" credentials to consumers, advertising watchdogs are stepping up efforts to rein in marketers that make false or exaggerated claims.

US: Antidepressants Under Scrutiny Over Efficacy
by DAVID ARMSTRONG and KEITH J. WINSTEINWall Street Journal
January 17th, 2008
The effectiveness of a dozen popular antidepressants has been exaggerated by selective publication of favorable results, according to a review of unpublished data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration.

EU: European Antitrust Regulators Raid Large Drug Makers
by STEPHEN CASTLE and JAMES KANTERNew York Times
January 17th, 2008
Antitrust regulators on Wednesday raided big European drug makers as part of an investigation into whether patents and lawsuit settlements are being manipulated to keep generic products off the market.

GLOBAL: Global campaign vows to fight MNC drug monopoly
by Marwaan Macan-Markar IPS News
November 26th, 2007
Public health and HIV/AIDS activists from the developing world are seeking to break the monopoly over drugs held by pharmaceutical giants through a new global campaign designed to influence international debate over the issue.

US: Merck Agrees to Settle Vioxx Suits for $4.85 Billion
by Alex BarensonNew York Times
November 9th, 2007
Three years after withdrawing its pain medication Vioxx from the market, Merck has agreed to pay $4.85 billion to settle 27,000 lawsuits by people who claim they or their family members suffered injury or died after taking the drug.

CHINA: Chinese Chemicals Flow Unchecked to Market
by Walter BogdanichNY Times
October 31st, 2007
Pharmaceutical ingredients exported from China are often made by chemical companies that are neither certified nor inspected by Chinese drug regulators, The New York Times has found.

US: F.D.A. Panel Urges Ban on Medicine for Child Colds
by Gardiner HarrisNY Times
October 20th, 2007
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted Friday to ban popular over-the-counter cold products intended for children under the age of 6.

US: V.A. Is Limiting Use of Diabetes Drug
by Stephanie SaulNY Times
October 18th, 2007
The Department of Veterans Affairs has decided to severely limit the use of Avandia, the once-popular drug for Type 2 diabetes, delivering another blow to the product’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline.

INDIA: Novartis Patents Case Far From Dead
by Praful BidwaiInter Press Service News Agency
August 9th, 2007
Cancer patients in India have reason to be relieved at a high court ruling this week which dismissed a petition by Swiss pharmaceuticals multinational corporation (MNC) Novartis challenging an Indian law which denies patents for minor or trivial improvements to known drugs.

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