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Articles on Big Pharma

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The scandal started with allegations that GlaxoSmithKline had made illegal payments to doctors and government officials. Ian Wilson

China’s pharma scandal and the ethics of the global drug market

China is in the midst of conducting a series of corruption investigations of pharmaceutical companies that have been operating in the country. It all started with the investigation of officials from pharmaceutical…
Roche has refused to share clinical trial data for Tamiflu, which is used to relieve symptoms and reduce complications of influenza. AAP/Joe Castro

Remove industry bias from clinical trials before it’s too late

A study published today shows that clinical trials with industry sponsorship report greater benefits and fewer harmful side effects. In the discussion, the authors note that most reviews and guidelines…
Pathology service providers should be encouraged to adopt a code of conduct similar to that of Medicines Australia. Waiting room image from shutterstock.com

Small step for transparency in medicine but what about pathology?

You’ve probably given little thought to the slip of paper your GP hands you when she sends you off for a blood test. After all, you’re likely to have more important things to worry about. But the next…
Pharmaceutical companies undertake clinical trials to determine whether a potential new drug meets the requirements for market authorisation. Chain of figures photo from www.shutterstock.com

How to get drug companies to put needs before profits

New medicines must be approved as safe, efficacious and of good quality before they can be prescribed. But authors of two recent articles in the British Medical Journal argue that governments should introduce…
Medical experts say more transparency is needed in financial dealings between big drug companies and doctors. Flickr/e-MagineArt.com

Code for pharmaceutical industry ‘falls short’

Pharmaceutical companies will be required to disclose more details about their financial ties to doctors under a revised…
Drug prices reduce dramatically when large multinationals’ monopoly is broken. m.p.3./Flickr

Big Pharma in legal battles for monopoly prices in India

Two large multinational pharmaceutical companies are fighting for patents and monopoly pricing in Indian courts. The outcomes of the cases – involving Novartis and Bayer – are likely to determine the country’s…
SKB knew eight adolescents self-harmed or reported emergent suicidal ideas compared to only one in the placebo group but hid this. Michael Valli

Insight into how pharma manipulates research evidence: a case study

TRANSPARENCY AND MEDICINE – A series examining issues from ethics to the evidence in evidence-based medicine, the influence of medical journals to the role of Big Pharma in our present and future health…
If there are legitimate reasons for drug companies to gift doctors, then it should be disclosed. Steven Depolo/Flickr

Gifts that keep on giving: pharma should disclose all links to doctors

How would you feel if your local GP or specialist was pocketing money from a drug company to promote its products? If your gut tells you that this falls squarely into the category of Very Bad Ideas then…
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…

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