Archive for category The Pharmaceutical Industry

NHS England push to rein in cancer drug prices

BBC, 27 August 2014
Author: Chris Cook
“The government is set to threaten to stop buying some expensive cancer drugs if manufacturers do not cut their prices, Newsnight has learned.”
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Forced switch? Drug cos. develop maneuvers to hinder generic competition

CBS, 28 August 2014
Author: Jonathan Lapook
“An Alzheimer’s medication called Namenda is due to go generic next year. The company that makes Namenda, plans to stop the sale of the version at least six months before a less expensive, generic product could become available. A newer form, one that has additional patent protection, is unlikely to go generic for years”
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National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill 2014 [Provisions]: inquiry report

Community Affairs Legislation Committee, senate, Commonwealth of Australia, 27 August 2014
“Key provisions of the Bill
“1.12   The Bill is comprised of five schedules, each containing provisions with staggered commencement dates over the period 2015–2019:
“1.13      The Bill includes measures that:

  • increase co-payments by $5.00 for general patients and by 80 cents for concessional card holders, with effect from 1 January 2015;[8]
  • increase the concessional safety net threshold by two prescriptions each year for four years, from 2015 to 2018;[9] and
  • increase the general patient safety net threshold by 10 per cent each year for four years, from 2015 to 2018.[10]“

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Do we need a law to help people try experimental drugs?

The Conversation, online 26 August 2014
Author: Tina Cockburn, Bill Madden
“People with life-threatening or incurable diseases may be willing to try experimental drugs and unproven treatments, but they face the risk of exploitation. Is the law the best avenue to ensure that they…”
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Marijuana strains doctor-patient relationship

CMAJ August 25, 2014 cmaj.109-4879
Author: Laura Eggerton
“New federal regulations that cast doctors as the “gatekeepers” to medical marijuana have increased pressure on them to authorize access to what is effectively an unproven drug, the head of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has told delegates to its annual meeting. “It puts physicians in a very awkward situation and it strains the physician-patient relationship,” CMA President Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti told reporters at an Aug. 18 news conference in Ottawa. “It’s just plain bad medicine to prescribe a product when we don’t know how it works, we don’t know when it works, who it works for, how it interacts or how much to prescribe….””
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Pharmaceutical industry code of conduct fails to find favour

The Conversation, online 22 August 2014
Author: Ken Harvey
“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is considering whether to approve the latest Medicines Australia code of conduct for pharmaceutical companies. The code lays out disclosure requirements for payments and other transfers of value (payment for sitting on drug company advisory boards; air-fares, accommodation and conference registration fees; funds for drug company-sponsored lectures). … The ACCC received 45 submissions about the draft and they tell an interesting story: a large number, from individuals and organisations alike, oppose the code.  Indeed, some of the submissions are positively furious.”
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Chicago and 2 California Counties Sue Over Marketing of Painkillers

The New York Times, 24 August, 2014
Author: John Schwartz
“As the country struggles to combat the growing abuse of heroin and opioid painkillers, a new battlefield is emerging: the courts. The City of Chicago and two California counties are challenging the drug industry’s way of doing business, contending in two separate lawsuits that “aggressive marketing” by five companies has fuelled an epidemic of addiction and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in insurance claims and other health care costs.”
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Health bureaucrats clash with Greens over likely impact of script price rise

The Guardian, 20 August 2014
Author: Daniel Hurst
“Health department officials have played down fears the planned increase to the existing co-payment on subsidised medicines could deter people from filling their prescriptions.”
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A modest but meaningful decision for Indian drug patents

The Lancet, Volume 384, Issue 9942, Pages 477 – 479, 9 August 2014
Author:  Amir Attaran
“On April 1, 2013, the Indian Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision on Novartis AG v Union of India & Others, better known as the Glivec (Gleevec in the USA; imatinib mesylate) patent case. 1 Although neither the resounding victory for access to medicines that activists celebrated nor the terminal defeat that Novartis complained about, the Court’s decision will shape India’s burgeoning medicine market in coming decades.”
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Lethal But Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health

The Lancet, Volume 384, Issue 9942, Pages 485 – 486, 9 August 2014
Reviewer: Robert Beaglehole
“Nicholas Freudenberg’s compelling book, about corporations, consumption, and protecting public health, came at a perfect time. I was in the middle of discussions on how to work towards a Tobacco Free World by 2040, a world where the global prevalence of smoking everywhere would be less than 5%. …I had great hopes of this book and I was not disappointed. …Freudenberg focuses on six industries: tobacco, alcohol, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, automobile, and firearms industries. In Freudenberg’s view, the major problem is the lack of political will to implement the needed preventive measures; profit has overwhelmingly taken precedence over the promotion of health and prevention of illness. He illustrates how the impact of these industries on the evolving global patterns of death are more important than the control of infectious diseases or the ageing of populations.”
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