AbbVie must pay $15 million in Depakote birth-defect trial: jury

Reuters, 9 June 2017
Author: Nate Raymond
“A federal jury on Friday awarded $15 million to a 10-year-old boy whose mother blamed his birth defect on AbbVie Inc’s (ABBV.N) bipolar disorder drug Depakote that she took while pregnant, in the latest trial among hundreds of lawsuits over the product.”
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Are Pharmaceutical Companies to Blame for the Opioid Epidemic?

The Atlantic, 2 June 2017
Author: Alana Semuels
“Who is responsible for this? Some attorneys general and advocates are now asking in court whether the pharmaceutical companies who marketed the drugs and downplayed their addictive nature can be held legally responsible for – and made to pay for the consequences of – the crisis.”
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Ohio Sues 5 Major Drug Companies For ‘Fueling Opioid Epidemic’

NPR, 31 May 2017
Author: Colin Dwyer
“The state of Ohio has sued five major drug manufacturers for their role in the opioid epidemic. In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, state Attorney General Mike DeWine alleges these five companies “helped unleash a health care crisis that has had far-reaching financial, social, and deadly consequences in the State of Ohio.”
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Modernizing And Strengthening Existing Laws To Control Drug Costs

Health Affairs Blog, 31 March 2017
Authors: Tim Horn, Sean Dickson
“If President Trump truly intends to control drug costs, we offer four proposals that leverage existing drug pricing systems to reduce prices for both public and private payers; in this Blog post, we will describe two of the proposals in depth.”
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EU recommends suspending hundreds of drugs tested by Indian firm

Reuters, 25 March 2017
Author: Ben Hirschler
“Europe’s medicines regulator has recommended the suspension of more than 300 generic drug approvals and drug applications due to “unreliable” tests conducted by Indian contract research firm Micro Therapeutic Research Labs.”
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Prescription Drug Regulation, Promotion, And Advocacy Has Gotten More Vexing In 2017

Health Affairs Blog, 23 March 2017
Author: Jerry Avorn
“Early 2017 has been one of the most interesting and challenging times for anyone concerned with medication regulation and evidence-based prescribing — as well as for the patients and health care professionals who will be so heavily impacted recent policy changes.”
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Drug companies pay doctors, nurses $9.5 million in six months for advice, event attendance

SMH, 3 March 2017
Author: Daniel Burdon
“The giants of the global pharmaceutical industry have continued paying doctors and nurses for their advice and to attend events, shelling out at least $9.5 million in six months for such services last year.”
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UK pharma firms accused of illegal deals to hike price of life-saving drug

The Guardian, 3 March 2017
Author: Angela Monaghan
“Two drugs firms have been accused by the competition watchdog of making illegal deals in order to inflate the price for life-saving hydrocortisone tablets in the UK. It is alleged that Actavis UK incentivised its rival Concordia not to enter the market with its own version of the tablets so that it could remain the sole supplier of the drug in the UK and charge higher prices.”
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More Than 80 Percent of Patient Groups Accept Drug Industry Funds, Study Shows

NYT Health, 1 March 2017
Author: Katie Thomas
“Dr. Emanuel, who previously advised President Obama on health care, said patient groups were far less transparent about conflicts of interest than medical researchers, who are now pushed to disclose ties to the drug and device industries when they write articles and make public appearances.”
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Pediatric Drug Formulations — Unintended Consequences of Legislation

N Engl J Med 2017; 376:795-796
Authors: Luke A. Probst, Thomas R. Welch
“The media have been replete with reports of ways in which the pharmaceutical industry has been able to increase revenue from medications that have been available for decades. We report a new variation of particular consequence to pediatricians and children.”
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