June 28, 2011
Hats off to N.Y. Re "N.Y. legalizes gay marriage," June 25 It's bittersweet, but mainly sweet, seeing the great state of New York post a milestone in human rights. It's bitter in that my state, California, should have and could have been the first among the big states to do it instead of succumbing to the idiotic bigotry of Propositions 22 and 8. Poor California, which used to be the vanguard in so many ways, has been reduced to the vanguard of budget crises and little else.
June 24, 2011 |
The Supreme Court gave the pharmaceutical industry a pair of victories, shielding the makers of generic drugs from most lawsuits by injured patients and declaring that drug makers have a free-speech right to buy private prescription records to boost their sales pitches to doctors. In both decisions Thursday, the court's conservative bloc formed the majority, and most of its liberals dissented. About 75% of the prescriptions written in this country are for lower-cost generic versions of brand-name drugs.
June 18, 2011 |
The Supreme Court heads into the last two weeks of its term Monday, facing a final round of decisions on matters as varied as violent video games, global warming, drug prescription records and alleged gender bias at Wal-Mart stores. In all, the justices are due to hand down decisions in 14 cases that have been argued since November. They will meet Monday and Thursday of this week to announce opinions. The remaining cases are set to be decided the following week. Here are the major cases pending: •Video games: The court will decide whether California and other states can limit the sale of ultra-violent video games to minors.
May 25, 2011 |
Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. has acquired privately held generic drug developer Specifar Pharmaceuticals for $562 million in cash to expand its presence in Europe. The deal for the Greek company broadens Watson's generic drug sales in Europe after the Corona company established a foothold in the region with its 2009 acquisition of Arrow Group. "It provides us with additional commercial capacity for our European businesses," Watson Chief Executive Paul Bisaro said. "We got the beachhead established, but now we needed the firepower to go out and expand that beachhead, and that's what this does.
May 6, 2011 |
The current formula of liquid acetaminophen marketed specifically for infants will soon disappear from shelves -- instead, the medication will be sold in the same concentration as for children, over-the-counter drug makers announced Wednesday. The switch to a standard strength of the pain-relief medication will take place mid-2011, said the Consumer Healthcare Products Assn., which represents almost all brand-name and generic over-the-counter drug makers in the U.S. Acetaminophen for infants currently comes in two strengths: 80 mg/0.8mL and 80 mg/1 mL. Now only one strength will be offered: 160 mg/5 mL, the same strength currently sold for children ages 2 to 12. Children’s packages will continue to have dosing cups, but the infant products will now have syringes with restrictors to limit the flow.
April 27, 2011 |
Government lawyers defending limits on the marketing of new drugs ran into sharply skeptical questions Tuesday at the Supreme Court from conservative justices who said the 1st Amendment protected the free-speech rights of drug makers to market their products directly to doctors. At issue is whether states can forbid pharmacies from selling to drug makers the confidential prescription records of physicians. Armed with this information, drug company salesmen have targeted doctors who are not prescribing new and costly brand-name drugs.
April 19, 2011 |
It didn't used to be in Sandy Binder's job description to be a drug sleuth. As director of oncology community practices at UCLA, she didn't have to spend two hours a day checking on the supply of crucial cancer drugs at her six clinics and dickering with suppliers to make sure her doctors could get their hands on what their patients needed, even if at a markup that tripled the normal cost. Those were the old days, before the crisis of drug shortages in the United States spiraled out of control.
April 1, 2011 |
The St. Louis drug company lambasted for increasing the price of a pregnancy drug from $20 to $1,500 per dose announced Friday that it's cutting the price by more than half. The sharp reduction to $690 per dose came two days after the Food and Drug Administration publicly invited competition by announcing that it would continue to allow so-called compounding pharmacies to make and sell a version of the drug. The drug, a synthetic form of progesterone commonly called 17P and marketed under the trade name Makena, is recommended for women at high risk of delivering prematurely.
March 31, 2011 |
The Food and Drug Administration took the unusual step Wednesday of inviting specialty pharmacies to make an end run around a company that obtained exclusive rights to a pregnancy drug and promptly raised the price from $20 a dose to $1,500. The drug, a synthetic form of progesterone trade-named Makena, is recommended as a weekly injection for women at high risk of delivering prematurely, beginning between 16 and 18 weeks' gestation until 36 weeks. The action by K-V Pharmaceutical Co. boosted the total cost of the drug during a pregnancy from about $400 to $30,000, igniting a firestorm of objections.
March 23, 2011 |
The Supreme Court dealt two more defeats to businesses, handing down rulings that made it easier to sue drug makers over alleged stock fraud and allowing workers to sue their employers if they suffer retaliation after making an oral complaint. The decisions continue a trend of late in which the high court has confounded its critics by siding with workers and plaintiffs in business cases. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been on the winning side in only one case decided this year, while suffering five losses.