Tag Archives | Big Pharma

Barack Obama Has Shares in Baxter Pharma

A news summary of the controversy over Baxter International, one of the producers of the available commercial swine flu vaccine, and an alleged connection to President Obama on FTO South Africa News Blog:

  • The President of the United States, Barack Obama has shares in Baxter, the company many say is responsible for the h1n1 swine flu pandemic. Back 2005 Barack Obama bought $50,000 worth of stock in two companies.
  • Right after he bought the shares also in 2005 Barack Obama (still a senator at that time) introduced the first comprehensive bill to address the threat of avian influenza pandemic. AVIAN Act (S. 969)
  • Then it makes it even more interesting that over $60 million dollars was awarded for a vaccine against the bird flu (2007) that at the time did not mutate till afterward.
  • The guy sure knows his planning, I guess that is change you can believe in.
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Pfizer Broke the Law by Promoting Drugs for Unapproved Uses

David Evans writes on Bloomberg:

Prosecutor Michael Loucks remembers clearly when lawyers for Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drug company, looked across the table and promised it wouldn’t break the law again.

It was January 2004, and the attorneys were negotiating in a conference room on the ninth floor of the federal courthouse in Boston, where Loucks was head of the health-care fraud unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. One of Pfizer’s units had been pushing doctors to prescribe an epilepsy drug called Neurontin for uses the Food and Drug Administration had never approved.

In the agreement the lawyers eventually hammered out, the Pfizer unit, Warner-Lambert, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of marketing a drug for unapproved uses.

New York-based Pfizer agreed to pay $430 million in criminal fines and civil penalties, and the company’s lawyers assured Loucks and three other prosecutors that Pfizer and its units would stop promoting drugs for unauthorized purposes.

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Has the Pill Changed the Rules of Sexual Attraction?

Linda Geddes writes in New Scientist:

The contraceptive pill alters monthly fluctuations in hormones associated with the menstrual cycle, mimicking the more stable hormonal conditions associated with pregnancy. This might not only disrupt the natural processes which influence women’s choice of partner, but it could also make them less able to compete with women who have a natural menstrual cycle, a paper published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution suggests.

How worried should we be, and what other strategies can men and women use to tip the odds in their favour? New Scientist investigates.

What do we know about how women choose a mate?

Recent studies have confirmed that women tend to prefer taut bodies, broad shoulders, clear skin and defined, masculine facial features – all of which may indicate sexual potency and good genes. Women also tend to be attracted to men who look as if they have wealth, or the ability to acquire it.

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Half of All New Pharmaceutical Drugs Developed Fail to Beat Placebos … and Drugmakers are Scared

Have pharmaceutical companies gotten so good at advertising that now most people think the answer is in just taking a pill? Quite the Frankenstein effect for Big Pharma … perhaps the billions they spend on trying to convince people to take drugs they don’t need will be their undoing. (Big Pharma spends twice as much on marketing than research & development.)

Steve Silberman reports in Wired magazine:

Merck was in trouble. In 2002, the pharmaceutical giant was falling behind its rivals in sales. Even worse, patents on five blockbuster drugs were about to expire, which would allow cheaper generics to flood the market. The company hadn’t introduced a truly new product in three years, and its stock price was plummeting.

In interviews with the press, Edward Scolnick, Merck’s research director, laid out his battle plan to restore the firm to preeminence. Key to his strategy was expanding the company’s reach into the antidepressant market, where Merck had lagged while competitors like Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline created some of the best-selling drugs in the world.

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