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Pharmaceuticals

The cost of prescription drugs has never been higher, and pharmaceutical companies have never spent more persuading consumers that they need drugs they've never heard of for illnesses they didn't know they had. Drug companies are also spending millions defending patents and persuading the FDA to approve new drugs ever faster. Meanwhile, developing countries go without desperately needed drugs because pharmaceutical companies fear that lowering prices for the neediest is a slippery slope. Big Pharma says high prices fund research and innovation.


News Articles

UK: GlaxoSmithKline chief's pay package more than doubles to £6.7m
by Jill TreanorThe Guardian (UK)
March 12th, 2012
GlaxoSmithKline boss Sir Andrew Witty's pay package more than doubled to £6.7m last year – but the drugs group reckons he remains underpaid and has awarded him a new deal which could generate up to £10.4m this year.

INDIA: Controller General Overrules Bayer, Allowing Generic Drug
by Vikas Bajaj and Andrew PollackNew York Times
March 12th, 2012
India’s government authorized a national drug manufacturer to make and sell a generic copy of a patented Bayer drug used to treat advanced kidney cancer and liver cancer, saying that Bayer charged a price that was unaffordable to most of the nation.

INDIA: Supreme Court to Hear Dispute on Drug Patents
by Vikas Bajaj and Andrew PollackNew York Times
March 6th, 2012
A Swiss drug company, Novartis, will go before the Indian Supreme Court this monnth to fight patent laws that protect the global supply of inexpensive medicines to treat AIDS, cancer and other diseases. The lawsuit - which involves a drug called Gleevec - is being opposed by international aid groups.

US: Online Age Quiz Is a Window for Drug Makers
by STEPHANIE CLIFFORDNew York Times
March 25th, 2009
RealAge, promising to help shave years off your age, has become one of the most popular quizzes on the Internet. The test asks 150 questions about lifestyle and family history to assign a “biological age." But then pharmaceutical companies pay RealAge to compile test results of RealAge members and send them marketing messages by e-mail.

US: High Court Eases Way to Liability Lawsuits
by Jess BravinWall Street Journal
March 5th, 2009
The Supreme Court said drug makers can be sued in state court over alleged defects, even if the Food and Drug Administration has approved a medication's use. The 6-3 ruling undercuts years of business efforts to block state suits over the safety of products from motorcycle brakes to railway cars.