Articles on Big Pharma

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Pharmaceutical companies are working in partnership with academia to bring drug candidates to clinical development. Spark/Flickr

New drug buddies: pharma turns to academia for medicines pipeline

The 2008 global financial crisis and an impending “patent cliff” have had a profound impact on the profitability of the pharmaceutical industry – they have made it change how it works. So, to maintain…
Repositioning a drug affords pharmaceutical companies the opportunity to enhance the return on their initial investment. bitzi/flickr

Teaching old drugs new tricks: why companies reposition medicines

Many pharmaceutical companies are having to re-examine their product portfolio because of the difficult economic climate. New uses for established drugs affords a way for these companies to maximise financial…
The increasing trend of outsourcing drug production is leading to shortages in cancer drugs. Flickr

Risky business: the human cost of outsourcing drug production

It’s the pharmaceutical industry equivalent of the butterfly effect: a drug manufacturing plant in Ohio shuts down production after regulators on two continents uncover contamination problems. Suddenly…
Vioxx was withdrawn from the Australian market in October 2004 and there’s an ongoing compensation case. DaGoaty/Flickr

Vioxx withdrawal: making sense of the fight for compensation in Australia

The enormous medical impact of modern pharmaceuticals has on occasion been matched by some large-scale litigation regarding adverse events. The Vioxx litigation in Australia and elsewhere is one such recent…
The Pharmacy Guild has a deal that encourages pharmacists to sign up patients to Pzifer’s support programs. Marcus Q

One wrong foot after another: the ethics of the Pharmacy Guild’s deals

First it was the Pharmacy Guild’s deal with Blackmores that raised ethical concerns. Now it’s the Guild and Pfizer. Both deals involve undisclosed payments from drug companies to Guild subsidiaries to…
Pharmaceuticals giant Merck has maintained a low-profile, despite a series of major law suits. AAP

The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of: Merck

Welcome to “The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of” – an ongoing series from The Conversation that sheds light on big companies with low profiles. Today, Deakin University’s Philip Soos examines…
Doctors’ wining and dining by drug companies distort prescribing patterns and may influence them to recommend less-than-ideal drugs. PhillipC/Flickr

It’s not you, it’s the patients: why doctors should tell drug firms it’s over

This week Radio National’s Background Briefing looks at how pharmaceutical companies market their products to doctors. The program is presented by Ray Moynihan, an award-winning journalist, columnist at…
They may have the same active ingredient, but fillers, colours and lubricants may vary. Flickr/Harsh Vardhan

Explainer: how do generic medicines compare with brand leaders?

“Would you like the generic brand of that medicine?” It’s a question you’ve probably been asked, or at least heard, when picking up a prescription at your local pharmacy. It’s likely you were told the…
Uncertainty about how drugs will be listed on the PBS has patient groups, health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry worried. LadyofProcrastination/Wikimedia Commons

New PBS listing rule spooks pharma, doctors and patients

Any parent who watches kids’ weekend footy knows that if the ref misses a breach of the rules, merry hell breaks loose. But referees are human and sometimes make errors. We forgive the odd one pretty quickly…
A test case is slated to challenge Myriad’s claim for breast cancer genetic mutations next February. TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³/Flickr

Patent controversy: don’t let breast cancer gene genie out of the bottle

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has found Myriad Genetics is entitled to patents on two sets human genetic mutations used to predict if women have an increased risk of breast and ovarian…

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