Transparency on drug company payments and trips for doctors a step closer

SMH, 27 April 2015
Author: Dan Harrison
“Patients will find out what payments and “educational” trips their doctors have received from drug companies, after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approved a new code of conduct for the pharmaceutical industry. But in a change criticised by health consumer groups, companies will no longer be required to report how much they spend wining and dining doctors.”
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Over-the-counter sale of codeine pain killers such as Nurofen Plus and Panadeine may end

SMH, 26 April 2015
Authors: Aisha Dow and Julia Medew
“Access to Nurofen Plus, Panadeine and other common painkillers sold to millions of Australians each year could soon be curtailed by health authorities amid reports of harmful side effects, addiction and fatal overuse. Australia’s drug regulator is considering a proposal to make about 150 codeine products prescription-only medicines, meaning they could no longer be freely purchased over the counter at pharmacies and would require a visit to a doctor.”
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How Much Would You Pay for an Old Drug? If You Have MS, a Fortune

Bloomberg, 25 April 2015
Author: John Tozzi
“MS is a chronic disorder of the nervous system that afflicts about 400,000 Americans with a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty moving, and vision problems. When the first therapies to treat MS were approved in the 1990s, they cost $8,000 to $12,000 a year. Subsequent drugs entered the market with higher prices. The competition didn’t drive down cost. Instead, the prices of the older drugs increased and rose several times faster than the overall rate at which drug costs increased.”
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Drug Companies Pin Hopes On TrialReach To Enroll Patients In Clinical Trials Faster

Forbes, 23 April 2015
Author: Zina Moukheiber
“Two years ago, Pfizer, Novartis , and Eli Lilly set aside competition to form a consortium called Patients to Trials. Goal: how to enroll patients in clinical trials faster. One obstacle for patients is language. Protocols which spell out the requirements of a trial are peppered with scientific jargon. The TrialReach platform will facilitate patients’ access to trial information.”
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Drug companies in US spent millions pushing for weight loss drug approvals, investigative report finds

BMJ 2015;350:h2138
Author: Michael McCarthy
“Since 2010, makers of diet drugs have spent more than $60m (£40m; €56m) on lobbying, medical society sponsorships, and payments to physicians to get their weight loss drugs to the market, says a joint investigative report by the medical news website MedPage Today and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.”
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Teva to Pay $512 Million to Settle Suit Over Delay of Sleep Disorder Drug

NYT Health, 20 April 2015
Author: Katie Thomas
“The drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said on Monday that it had agreed to pay $512 million to settle claims that a subsidiary, Cephalon, paid generic manufacturers to keep their own cheaper versions of a drug off the market, a practice that the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 could be illegal in some cases.”
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Veterans’ medical research program benefits all

AFR, 15 April 2015
Author: Christopher Jay
“A health program that has dramatically improved the management of multiple medication for veterans, and many aspects of clinical care generally, is coming up for reassignment under Australia’s periodic re-tendering public sector rule. A study of results of the program from 2004 to 2010, underlines just how this work has aided the use of many pharmaceuticals, and the monitoring of interactions between prescriptions, hospital regimes and packages of care by GPs.”
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Pharmacy Startup PillPack Could Change The Way America Takes Its Medicine

Forbes, 15 April 2015
Author: Sarah Hedgecock
“The problem of medication overload is a big one. Some 32 million Americans–10% of the population–are on at least five different prescription drugs. A small startup pharmacy based in Manchester sends their prescription drugs by mail order (nothing new there), but pills are sorted together into clear plastic wrappers printed with the date and time at which they should be taken. The service–including shipping–costs customers about the same as picking up the prescription at the local pharmacy.”
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