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Articles on Pharmaceutical industry

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Horseshoe crabs in spawning season at Reeds Beach, N.J., on June 13, 2023. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Horseshoe crab blood is vital for testing intravenous drugs, but new synthetic alternatives could mean pharma won’t bleed this unique species dry

Horseshoe crabs play a unique role in medicine, but they’re also ecologically important in their home waters along the Atlantic coast. Can regulators balance the needs of humans and nature?
Health Canada’s new drug licensing proposal contains no mechanism for making fast-tracked medicines affordable. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canada’s misguided changes to drug regulation could fast-track unproven medications and divert funds from other health needs

The federal government’s proposed Agile Licensing drug approval regulations mean Canada will have less information about the risks of new medicines, and higher costs.
The pharma industry warned that if proposed new prescription price guidelines go ahead, drug launches would be delayed and ‘Canadian patients will be deprived of potentially life-saving new medicines.’ (Shutterstock)

How the pharmaceutical industry uses disinformation to undermine drug price reform

The pharma industry claims lower prescription drug prices will mean less access to new medication for Canadians. It’s an old threat that pits profits against patients’ rights to affordable drugs.
Lecanemab is an antibody that attaches to beta-amyloid proteins accumulated in the brain and allows the immune system to get rid of them. (Shutterstock)

Lecanemab: Experimental drug is a ray of hope for Alzheimer’s disease

An 18-month treatment with lecanemab slows functional and cognitive loss by 27 per cent in people with mild Alzheimer’s disease. But this is only the first step towards a real cure.
Global Justice campaigners in London stand by fake coffins to highlight global COVID-19 deaths. If pharma companies waived intellectual property rights, it would be easier for low- and middle-income countries to access COVID-19 vaccines. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

We still need a vaccine patent waiver, but not the one on offer at the World Trade Organization meeting

Waiving patent rights on COVID-19 vaccines and drugs is still crucial to ensure access globally, but the waiver on the table at the June World Trade Organization meeting doesn’t do the job.
Changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board regulations, which are intended to help lower drug costs in Canada, were originally scheduled to take effect in July 2020. (Shutterstock)

Lower drug prices are a priority for Canadians, but not for the federal government

Changes to Canada’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board regulations have been postponed for a fourth time in two years as Canadians continue to pay some of the highest drug prices in the world.
The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada sits ready for use at The Michener Institute in Toronto in mid-December 2020, less than a year from when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Big Pharma’s COVID-19 reputation boost may not last — here’s why

If Big Pharma wants to achieve the ultimate image makeover, it must capitalize on the current public good will about its COVID-19 vaccines by prioritizing socially responsible practices.
Though drug recalls are relatively uncommon in the U.S., reduced inspections increase the likelihood of manufacturing errors that slip through the cracks. AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

The FDA’s weak drug manufacturing oversight is a potentially deadly problem

COVID-19 has exacerbated a backlog of domestic and foreign drug manufacturing inspections that the FDA is still too short-staffed to adequately deal with.
Anita Anand, Canada’s minister of public services and procurement, opens a box with some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured last March through a deal with the Serum Institute of India. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL

Canada is virtue signalling while waffling on global access to COVID-19 vaccines

Despite some public virtue signalling, the Canadian government is not doing all it can to improve global access to COVID-19 vaccines. Canada has yet to announce its position on the WTO patent waiver.
A woman who said she’s a medical worker who works directly with COVID-19 patients is stopped by police outside of the public Rebagliati Hospital in Lima, Peru, in February 2021. She complained that some people getting vaccinated don’t work directly with COVID-19 patients. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Peru’s COVID-19 vaccine scandal shows the shady deals made with pharma companies

A vaccination queue-jumping scandal in Peru has caused a massive uproar in the South American country. It could also be a wake-up call for all nations.

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