Big Pharma

Effect Measure

Category archives for Big Pharma

Tufts University is the latest institution to step in the Conflict of Interest mess and come out with shoes that smell. The University had organized a conference on conflict of interest in medicine and research, with Iowa’s Republican Senator Charles Grassley as the keynoter. Grassley has been an indefatigable crusader against instances of fraud and…

When the Wall Street Journal called attention to a claim that the Journal of the American Medical Association called a whistle-blower a “nobody” and a “nothing,” a claim JAMA denied, I didn’t know what to think. I was inclined to give JAMA the benefit of the doubt. Whatever dealings I’ve had (and they are few)…

The Conflict of Interest talk these days is all about doctors and medical school lecturers who are in bed with Big Pharma, but the bed is pretty crowded. Researchers are there, too. Not that this hasn’t been a topic of conversation. And not that researchers aren’t conscious of it and frantically trying to distance themselves…

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that if the FDA approves a drug, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep the labeling up to date if you should warn people. So that settles one question about FDA approval. The FDA put its stamp of approval on the drug Vioxx, too, but approved or not, Vioxx…

Pills, profits and medical schools

When I was in medical school it was common to get gifts from drug companies. Since many of us had very little money, the gifts were welcome. One company gave me a Littman stethoscope, at the time, the most advanced stethoscope around. The same model costs about $100 now. I was glad to get it,…

Baxter bird flu botch

In a post the other day on some kind of flu vaccine mishap in Austria we called it a colossal screw-up. It turns out we may have understated the case. Maybe. Because while more details are leaking out, the company responsible for it, Baxter International, isn’t saying exactly what happened on the grounds that it…

As I write this the story is still hazy [see Addendum] but it sounds like the kind of colossal screw-up we had four years ago when the American College of Pathology sent a pandemic flu strain (H2N2) to thousands of clinical and hospital laboratories as part of routine competency testing (see here, here, here). That…

I’m not sure what to make of the report that scientists in Boston, California and the CDC in Atlanta have made monoclonal antibodies that protect mice against many different flu subtypes. Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies made by the descendants of a single immune cell (that is a single clone, hence monoclonal). Thus unlike natural antibodies,…

I know I shouldn’t, but I just have to ask. What’s with the bath tubs on the Cialis ads? (in case you live in a bubble, Cialis is for “erectile dysfunction,” what we used to call impotence). The original Cialis ads were faux tasteful things (at least compared to the really toe curling “Viva Viagra”…

Whenever you read about some high profile drug company trial where the smoking gun is some incriminating email, do you shake your head and wonder, “How could they have written that in an email?” There are two ways for a drug company to protect itself from being nailed by these kinds of emails. The best…