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Pharmaceutical Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Pharmaceutical Corruption News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important pharmaceutical corruption news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These pharmaceutical corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of pharmaceutical corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Global antibiotic overuse is like a ‘slow motion train wreck’
2018-03-28, PBS
Posted: 2019-10-28 22:33:00
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/global-antibiotic-overuse-is-like-a-slow-mo...

Antibiotic resistance contributes to the death of 700,000 people around the world each year. Experts have predicted it will eclipse the number of people affected by cancer by 2050. One of the biggest causes is the overuse of antibiotics. On Monday, a group led by researchers from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policies released a new study looking at the global consumption of antibiotics. They found the use of antibiotics worldwide has increased 65 percent from 2000 to 2015. What happens is, antibiotics kill bacteria that make us sick. But the bacteria over time evolve and develop an ability to survive the onslaught of the antibiotics. They, in essence, get smart. So, over time, bacteria survive that have resistance built in. The biggest contributor to this problem is in low- to mid-income countries. Back in 2000, the usage of antibiotics in the lower- to mid-income countries vs. high-income countries was about equal. In 2015, the usage in those low- to mid-income countries doubled. The projections are, by 2030, our use of antibiotics, if nothing changes, will be triple what it is today. And what that means is, there are going to be many more antibiotics which become really just basically useless, more so-called superbugs out there. And we are facing the prospect of a post-antibiotic world. We could get back to a world ... where something as simple as a cut or a blister could kill you, which is what the world was like before we had antibiotics.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


'Medication or housing': why soaring insulin prices are killing Americans
2019-09-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-09-29 16:24:16
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/23/diabetes-americans-soaring-in...

Jada Renee Louis of Newport News, Virginia, died on 22 June 2019 about a week after requiring emergency hospital care for diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication caused by a lack of insulin, and a foot ulcer. She was 24. A type 1 diabetic, Louis, who did not have health insurance coverage, couldn’t afford the cost of her insulin doses and pay her rent. She chose to skip doses in order to pay her rent. Today a vial of insulin – which will last 28 days once opened – costs about $300 in the US. “People are literally dying over $300 like my sister did. People shouldn’t have to choose between medications or shelter. That’s the most outrageous decision for somebody to have to make, yet people are doing it daily,” Jazmine Baldwin, Louis’s sister, [said]. Price gouging of insulin and other barriers to accessing it are symptomatic of America’s broken healthcare system, diabetes advocates argue, and the resulting deaths and struggles of those with diabetes demonstrate the need for systemic reforms. Between 2012 to 2016, the average cost of insulin in the United States nearly doubled to $5,705 per year for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Production costs for a vial of insulin are estimated to cost around $5 while pharmaceutical companies charge as high as $540 per vial and Americans are dying as a result of being unable to afford it in addition to the expensive costs of medical care, and supplies such as syringes and glucose monitors. Some 1.25 million Americans are currently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


The New Cholesterol Guidelines And Conflicts Of Interest
2013-11-20, Forbes
Posted: 2019-09-29 16:14:08
https://www.forbes.com/sites/edsilverman/2013/11/20/the-new-cholesterol-guide...

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for prescribing cholesterol-lowering medicines. The big winners are expected to be the drug makers that sell statins, since other types of pills were not recommended. Of the 15 panelists that authored these new guidelines, six reported having recent or current ties to drugmakers that already sell or are developing cholesterol medications. And among the half dozen who disclosed these relationships was one of the two panel co-chairs, which contradicts an Institute of Medicine suggestion about managing conflicts and leadership roles on such panels. To be specific, the Institute of Medicine wrote that, “whenever possible, guideline development group members should not have conflicts of interest ... and the chair or co-chairs should not be a person(s) with conflicts of interest.” The Institute of Medicine also wrote that members with conflicts should not represent a majority (here is the IOM report). “One of the reasons the IOM recently recommended eliminating rather than ‘managing’ financial conflicts of interest in guideline development groups is because of concerns about implicit bias,” says Lisa Cosgrove ... at the University of Massachusetts. “When individuals have commercial ties they are vulnerable to developing subtle, but sometimes powerful, pro-industry ways of thinking. Transparency ... can actually worsen the problem, because some people think simply disclosing a tie relieves any moral concern.”

Note: For lots more on this, see an informative article titled "The Statin Mafia Censors Pharmaceutical Harm." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Life, Death and Insulin
2019-01-07, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-09-23 15:53:05
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/magazine/wp/2019/01/07/feature/insulin-is...

The global insulin market is dominated by three companies: Eli Lilly, the French company Sanofi and the Danish firm Novo Nordisk. All three have raised list prices to similar levels. According to IBM Watson Health data, Sanofi’s popular insulin brand Lantus was $35 a vial when it was introduced in 2001; it’s now $270. Novo Nordisk’s Novolog was priced at $40 in 2001, and as of July 2018, it’s $289. The companies appear to have increased [prices] in lockstep over a number of years, prompting allegations of price fixing. All three companies denied these charges. (In 2010, Mexico fined Eli Lilly and three Mexican companies for price collusion on insulin, an allegation Eli Lilly also denied.) In the United States, a federal prosecutor and at least five state attorneys general are currently investigating the companies’ pricing practices. There is also another, less known corporate entity in the mix: pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which include Express Scripts, OptumRx and CVS Health; all are now named in lawsuits on high insulin prices. These corporate entities are powerful special interests. In 2017, the pharmaceutical and health product industry ... spent nearly $280 million on lobbying, the biggest spender by far of 20 top industries, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The industry also has a revolving door to government. Alex Azar, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, was the president of Eli Lilly’s U.S. division until 2017.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $572 million for its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis
2019-08-26, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-09-02 18:12:48
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/johnson-and-johnson-is-responsible-for-...

A judge Monday found Johnson & Johnson responsible for fueling Oklahoma’s opioid crisis, ordering the health-care company to pay $572 million to remedy the devastation wrought by the epidemic on the state and its residents. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman’s landmark decision is the first to hold a drugmaker culpable for the fallout of years of liberal opioid dispensing that began in the late 1990s. More than 400,000 people have died of overdoses from painkillers, heroin and illegal fentanyl since 1999. With more than 40 states lined up to pursue similar claims against the pharmaceutical industry, the ruling ... could influence both sides’ strategies in the months and years to come. Plaintiffs’ attorneys around the country cheered the decision, saying they hoped it would be a model for an enormous federal lawsuit brought by nearly 2,000 cities, counties, Native American tribes and others scheduled to begin in Cleveland, Ohio, in October. Johnson & Johnson’s products ... were a small part of the painkillers consumed in Oklahoma. But Hunter painted the company as an industry “kingpin” because two other companies it owned had grown, processed and supplied 60 percent of the ingredients in painkillers sold by most drug companies. “At the root of this crisis was Johnson & Johnson, a company that literally created the poppy that became the source of the opioid crisis,” the state charged. The state also said the health-care giant actively took part in ... an aggressive misinformation campaign.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


3 companies pay California $70 million for delaying drugs
2019-07-29, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2019-08-12 22:19:26
https://www.sfgate.com/news/medical/article/4-companies-pay-California-70-mil...

Three pharmaceutical companies collectively are agreeing to pay California nearly $70 million to settle allegations that they delayed drugs to keep prices high, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. The bulk of the money will come from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its affiliates for paying to delay a generic narcolepsy drug, Provigil, from entering the market for nearly six years. Teva is paying $69 million, which Becerra says is the largest pay-for-delay settlement received by any state. Such agreements let the developer of brand name drugs keep their monopolies over the drugs after their patents expire, thereby letting them continue to charge consumers higher prices. The drug developer pays the generic manufacturer to keep the cheaper version of the drug from entering the marketplace for an agreed period of time. Such agreements can force consumers and the health care market to pay as much as 90% more than if there were generic alternatives. More than $25 million of the settlement will go to a consumer fund for California residents who purchased Provigil, Nuvigil or Modafinil between 2006 and 2012. The second, $760,000 settlement is with Teva, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Teikoku Pharma USA over keeping a genetic alternative to the pain patch Lidoderm from entering the market for nearly two years. Both settlements bar the companies from pay-for-delay agreements for several years.

Note: They are only barred from pay-for-delay agreements for several years? Shouldn't this practice be illegal? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Commonly prescribed drugs are tied to nearly 50% higher dementia risk in older adults, study says
2019-06-25, CNN News
Posted: 2019-08-04 18:26:48
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/24/health/dementia-risk-drug-study

Scientists have long found a possible link between anticholinergic drugs and an increased risk of dementia. A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday suggests that the link is strongest for certain classes of anticholinergic drugs - particularly antidepressants such as paroxetine or amitriptyline, bladder antimuscarinics such as oxybutynin or tolterodine, antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine or olanzapine and antiepileptic drugs such as oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine. Researchers wrote in the study that "there was nearly a 50% increased odds of dementia" associated with a total anticholinergic exposure of more than 1,095 daily doses within a 10-year period, which is equivalent to an older adult taking a strong anticholinergic medication daily for at least three years, compared with no exposure. The researchers found only an association between anticholinergic drugs and dementia risk, not a causal relationship. "However, if this association is causal, the population-attributable fractions indicate that around 10% of dementia diagnoses are attributable to anticholinergic drug exposure, which would equate, for example, to around 20,000 of the 209,600 new cases of dementia per year in the United Kingdom," the researchers wrote in the study. It has been well known that anticholinergic agents and confusion or memory issues are linked, but the new study investigated this association over a long period of time, said Dr. Douglas Scharre ... at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Internal drug company emails show indifference to opioid epidemic
2019-07-19, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-08-04 18:24:49
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/internal-drug-company-emails-sh...

In May 2008, as the opioid epidemic was raging in America, a representative of the nation’s largest manufacturer of opioid pain pills sent an email to a client at a wholesale drug distributor in Ohio. Victor Borelli, a national account manager for Mallinckrodt, told Steve Cochrane, the vice president of sales for KeySource Medical, to check his inventories and “[i]f you are low, order more. If you are okay, order a little more, Capesce?” Then Borelli joked, “destroy this email ... Is that really possible? Oh Well...” Those email excerpts are quoted in a 144-page plaintiffs’ filing along with thousands of pages of documents unsealed by a judge’s order Friday in a landmark case in Cleveland against many of the largest companies in the drug industry. A Drug Enforcement Administration database released earlier in the week revealed that the companies had inundated the nation with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 through 2012. Nearly 2,000 cities, counties and towns are alleging that the companies knowingly flooded their communities with opioids, fueling an epidemic that has killed more than 200,000. The filing by plaintiffs depict some drug company employees as driven by profits and undeterred by the knowledge that their products were wreaking havoc across the country. Plaintiffs in the case argue that the actions of some of America’s biggest and best-known companies - including Mallinckrodt, Cardinal Health, McKesson, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Purdue Pharma - amounted to a civil racketeering enterprise.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


An onslaught of pills, hundreds of thousands of deaths: Who is accountable?
2019-07-20, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-08-04 18:22:30
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/an-onslaught-of-pills-hundreds-...

The origin, evolution and astonishing scale of America’s catastrophic opioid epidemic just got a lot clearer. The drug industry - the pill manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers - found it profitable to flood some of the most vulnerable communities in America with billions of painkillers. They continued to move their product, and the medical community and government agencies failed to take effective action, even when it became apparent that these pills were fueling addiction and overdoses and were getting diverted to the streets. This has been broadly known for years, but this past week, the more precise details became public for the first time. The revelatory data comes from the Drug Enforcement Administration and its Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS). “This really shows a relationship between the manufacturers and the distributors: They were all in it together,” said Jim Geldhof, a retired DEA employee. “We’re seeing a lot of internal stuff that basically confirms ... that it was all about greed, and all about money.” The data shows a trend in pill distribution that, according to the lawsuit plaintiffs, can’t be passed off as reasonable therapeutic medical treatment. The industry shipped 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills across the country from 2006 through 2012, the period covered by the ARCOS data released this past week. These pills didn’t flow in a steady stream but were more like a flash flood, spiking from 8.4 billion in 2006 to 12.6 billion in 2012.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?
2019-06-04, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-06-17 19:16:33
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/pfizer-had-clues-its-blockbus...

A team of researchers inside Pfizer made a startling find in 2015: The company’s blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis therapy Enbrel, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug, appeared to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 64 percent. The results were from an analysis of hundreds of thousands of insurance claims. Verifying that the drug would actually have that effect in people would require a costly clinical trial - and after several years of internal discussion, Pfizer opted against further investigation and chose not to make the data public, the company confirmed. Researchers in the company’s division of inflammation and immunology urged Pfizer to conduct a clinical trial on thousands of patients, which they estimated would cost $80 million ... according to an internal company document obtained by The Washington Post. Pfizer’s deliberations, which previously have not been disclosed, offer a rare window into the frustrating search for Alzheimer’s treatments inside one of the world’s largest drug companies. Pfizer did share the data privately with at least one prominent scientist, but outside researchers contacted by The Post believe Pfizer also should at least have published its data, making the findings broadly available to researchers. “Of course they should. Why not?” said Rudolph E. Tanzi, a leading Alzheimer’s researcher and professor at Harvard Medical School. “It would benefit the scientific community to have that data out there,” said Keenan Walker, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Johnson & Johnson opioids helped create 'worst man-made public health crisis in history,' Oklahoma says in court
2019-05-28, NBC News
Posted: 2019-06-02 13:00:37
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/johnson-johnson-opioids-helped-create-wo...

The first trial against a pharmaceutical opioid manufacturer started Tuesday in Oklahoma in what could be a precedent-setting case for hundreds of other claims around the country. The state's attorney general, Mike Hunter, began the day by accusing Johnson & Johnson of putting profits over responsibility and argued that the company was responsible for the "worst man-made public health crisis in the history of our state and country." In the multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the drugmaker, lawyers for the state argued that Johnson & Johnson knew about the addictive nature of opioids, but misled doctors by downplaying the risks of the drugs while touting its benefits. Brad Beckworth, a lawyer for Oklahoma, argued that Johnson & Johnson was motivated to increase sales on multiple fronts as both the manufacturer of the drugs Duragesic and Nucynta and as a supplier of the raw materials for other opioid manufacturers. He argued that a marketing push by Johnson & Johnson lead doctors to overprescribe opioids in Oklahoma. “If you oversupply, people will die,” Beckworth repeatedly said in his opening statement while showing email communications from Johnson & Johnson sales representatives. Oklahoma settled with two other drug manufacturers before Tuesday’s opening statements. In March, Purdue Pharma settled for $270 million, and on Sunday, Teva Pharmaceuticals settled for $85 million, leaving Johnson & Johnson as the sole defendants in what could a monthslong bench trial.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Purdue Pharma accused of 'corrupting' WHO to boost global opioid sales
2019-05-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-06-02 12:57:42
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/22/purdue-pharma-opioid-world-he...

Purdue Pharma, the drug manufacturer that kickstarted the US opioid epidemic, corruptly influenced the World Health Organization in order to boost painkiller sales across the globe, according to a report by members of Congress. An investigation by Katherine Clark and Hal Rogers, who represent districts in Massachusetts and Kentucky hard hit by the US opioid epidemic, accuses Purdue of replicating its false marketing claims about the safety and effectiveness of opioids to change WHO prescribing guidelines in an attempt to expand foreign markets for its drugs. “The web of influence we uncovered paints a picture of a public health organization that has been corrupted by the opioid industry,” said Clark. “The WHO appears to be lending the opioid industry its voice and credibility, and as a result, a trusted public health organization is trafficking dangerous misinformation that could lead to a global opioid epidemic.” The report ... accuses Purdue of using pharma-funded organizations and specialists to influence the writing of WHO policy to encourage much wider prescribing of addictive high-strength opioids across the globe. It said that, as a result, “WHO guidelines are serving as marketing materials for Purdue”. [The] report alleges two WHO guidelines ... “contain dangerously misleading and, in some instances, outright false claims about the safety and efficacy of prescription opioids”. “Alarmingly, these guidelines mirror Purdue’s marketing strategies to increase prescriptions and expand sales,” the report found.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


First major drug distribution company, former executives, criminally charged in opioid crisis
2019-04-23, NBC News
Posted: 2019-05-06 16:37:55
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/former-ceo-major-drug-distribution-compa...

In a national first in the fight against the opioid crisis, a major drug distribution company, its former chief executive and another top executive have been criminally charged in New York. Rochester Drug Co-Operative, one of the top 10 largest drug distributors in the United States, was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to violate narcotics laws, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and willfully failing to file suspicious order reports. Laurence Doud III, the company's former chief executive, and William Pietruszewski, the company’s former chief compliance officer, are individually charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.. Pietruszewski is also charged with willfully failing to file suspicious order reports with the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA. The U.S. attorney's office also filed a lawsuit against Rochester Drug Co-Operative on Tuesday seeking "penalties and injunctive relief." Between 2012 and 2016, Rochester Drug Co-Operative is accused of distributing tens of millions of doses of oxycodone, fentanyl and other opioids to pharmacies that its own compliance department found had no legitimate need for them. Prosecutors said Rochester Drug Co-Operative went against the DEA and its own policies and distributed drugs to pharmacies that were "filling controlled substances prescriptions issued by practitioners acting outside the scope of their medical practice, under investigation by law enforcement, or on RDC’s 'watch list.'"

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


UK babies given toxic vaccines, admits Glaxo
2002-06-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-05-06 16:25:47
https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/jun/30/tracymcveigh.antonybarnett

British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has finally admitted that thousands of babies in this country were inoculated with a batch of toxic whooping cough vaccines in the 1970s. Some experts believe that these Trivax vaccines - which had not passed critical company safety tests - may have caused permanent brain damage and even fatalities in young children. In 1992, the family of an Irish boy, Kenneth Best, who suffered brain damage from one of these toxic vaccines, was awarded Ł2.7 million in compensation by the Irish Supreme Court. The boy's family finally won this historic case after his mother Margaret made a startling find when sifting through tens of thousands of company documents. She discovered that the Trivax vaccine used on her son, from a batch numbered 3,741, had been released by the company despite it having failed to pass a critical safety test. Documents revealed that the 60,000 individual doses within this batch were known to be 14 times more potent than normal. Last year an investigation by The Observer found evidence to suggest that vaccines from this faulty batch ... had also been used in Britain. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker raised questions in the House of Commons, asking whether vaccines from this batch had been given to British babies. Then Health Minister Yvette Cooper wrote to the company asking for information. Now, almost a year later, GlaxoSmithKline has replied that it is 'highly probable' the toxic batches had been used in Britain.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccine risks from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Purdue Pharma to pay $270 million to settle historic Oklahoma opioid lawsuit
2019-03-26, CNN News
Posted: 2019-04-01 19:36:05
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/26/health/purdue-pharma-oklahoma-opioid-lawsuit-s...

Purdue Pharma has agreed to pay $270 million to settle a historic lawsuit brought by the Oklahoma attorney general, who accused the OxyContin maker of aggressively marketing the opioid painkiller and fueling a drug epidemic that left thousands dead in the state. The settlement comes after Purdue [sought] to delay the start of the trial, which is scheduled for May 28. Attorney General Mike Hunter said ... that $102.5 million of the settlement would be used to help establish a national addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University. The company will also provide $20 million of addiction treatment and opioid rescue medications to the center. A remaining $12.5 million from the settlement will be used directly to help cities and counties with the opioid crisis. The Sackler family, who founded and own Purdue Pharma, will also contribute $75 million over the next five years to the treatment and research center. The lawsuit was brought by Hunter against some of the nation's leading makers of opioid pain medications, alleging that deceptive marketing over the past decade fueled the epidemic in the state. Hunter has said the defendants - Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan and others - deceived the public into believing that opioids were safe for extended use. The settlement was only with Purdue Pharma, and the other defendants are still scheduled to go to trial. Thirty-six states have brought cases against Purdue and other opioid drugmakers.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Purdue Pharma sought secret plan to become 'end-to-end pain provider,' lawsuit alleges
2019-01-31, CNN News
Posted: 2019-02-17 17:39:05
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/31/health/purdue-pharma-unredacted-lawsuit/index....

Pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma LP secretly pursued a plan, dubbed "Project Tango," to become "an end-to-end pain provider" by selling both opioids and drugs to treat opioid addiction, all while owners on the board - members of one of America's richest families - reaped more than $4 billion in opioid profits, according to a lawsuit newly unredacted. The suit says the company and its owners, the Sackler family ... engaged in a decade of deception to push their pharmaceuticals, namely the painkiller OxyContin, on doctors and patients, publicly denying what internal documents show they privately knew to be true: that the highly addictive drugs were resulting in overdoses and deaths. Purdue examined selling overdose antidotes, including Narcan, as "complementary" products to the same doctors to whom it sold its opioids, the lawsuit claims, and although the company maintained a ledger of doctors it suspected of inappropriate opioid prescriptions and other forms of abuse, dubbed "Region Zero," it continued to collect revenue from those doctors. The Sacklers paid themselves more than $4 billion in opioid profits between April 2008 and 2018. In 2017, there were 47,600 opioid-linked drug fatalities in the United States. The unredacted complaint also says consulting firm McKinsey & Co. played a crucial role in advising the company on how to push its product on doctors and boost its profits.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Sen. Bernie Sanders will ask why a once-free drug now costs $375,000
2019-02-04, CNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2019-02-17 17:37:23
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/04/sen-bernie-sanders-will-ask-why-a-once-free-d...

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders plans to send a letter to Catalyst Pharmaceuticals on Monday asking it to justify its decision to charge $375,000 annually for a medication that for years has been available to patients for free. The drug, Firdapse, is used to treat Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), a rare neuromuscular disorder. The disorder affects about one in 100,000 people in the United States. The government is intensifying its scrutiny of the pharmaceutical industry and rising prescription drug prices. Both the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, controlled by Republicans, have begun holding hearings this year on the rising costs of medicines. In the letter dated Feb. 4, Sanders asked Catalyst to lay out the financial and non-financial factors that led the company to set the list price at $375,000, and say how many patients would suffer or die as a result of the price and how much it was paying to purchase or produce the drug. For years, patients have been able to get Firdapse for free ... through a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) program called "compassionate use." The program allows patients with rare diseases and conditions access to experimental drugs outside of a clinical trial when there is no viable alternative. Florida-based Catalyst received FDA approval of Firdapse in November, along with exclusive rights to market the medication for several years. In December, Catalyst announced it would price Firdapse at $375,000 a year.

Note: Read how a major drug price increase nearly bankrupted the city of Rockford, Illinois. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Family outraged over life-changing treatment going from free to $375,000 a year
2019-02-07, NBC News
Posted: 2019-02-17 17:35:44
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/family-outraged-over-life-changing...

When Will Schuller was an 18-year-old senior in high school in Overland Park, Kansas, something puzzling was happening. He was “big into running at the time” and seemingly in good health, but ...Will struggled to walk from the school parking lot to his classes, and he couldn’t exercise. Around Christmas 2014, Will was diagnosed with Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), a rare neuromuscular disorder. LEMS is “a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects strength and muscle fatigue ability,” said Dr. Ted M. Burns, a professor of neurology. There is a drug to treat LEMS that up until recently was free for patients through an FDA program called “compassionate use.” When Schuller got the drug, called ... 3,4-DAP, he instantly felt better. Since 1992, 3,4-DAP, was made by Jacobus Pharmaceuticals, a small New Jersey company, until a different company, Catalyst, recently received the exclusive rights to the drug. Catalyst added a preservative, renamed it Firdapse, and is now charging north of $375,000 a year for the life-changing drug. Will's parents said doctors ... warned them about an impending price increase, but they never imagined it would start costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. “We're paying ... less than that,” said Bob Schuller, Will’s dad. “But everyone's premiums are going to go up as a result of this. So it's a cost to the entire system.” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., sent a letter to Catalyst on Monday demanding an explanation for the new price of Firdapse, calling it "a blatant fleecing of American taxpayers."

Note: Read how a major drug price increase nearly bankrupted the city of Rockford, Illinois. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Big Pharma spends record millions on lobbying amid pressure to lower drug prices
2019-01-24, CNN News
Posted: 2019-02-03 22:48:17
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/23/health/phrma-lobbying-costs-bn/index.html

The lobbying group for the pharmaceutical industry spent about $27.5 million on lobbying activities in 2018, federal filings show. This is a record annual total for the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, which represents most of the nation's largest drug and biopharmaceutical research companies. According to OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan, independent research group tracking money in US politics, individual companies within the pharmaceuticals and health products sector spent $194.3 million on lobbying as of October 24, 2018 over and above the amount disclosed by PhRMA.The large outlays follow moves within the White House that could limit pharmaceutical companies' price increases and profits on medicines. Congress and the Trump administration continue to push for a drug pricing plan and were given more ammunition Tuesday in the form of a report documenting that insulin cost nearly doubled in the United States between 2012 and 2016. President 'Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise to lower drug prices, posted his blueprint for doing so in May. US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar remarked last week that despite some "positive developments" in pharmaceutical pricing behavior, "drug companies have a lot further to go."

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How much do your prescription drugs cost? Transparency in TV ads is overdue
2018-10-16, USA Today
Posted: 2018-10-22 02:58:03
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/10/16/prescription-drugs-price-tr...

Drugmakers spend billions selling prescription drugs on TV to the public, sometimes turning a new drug into a blockbuster. What you don’t know from the commercials is how much these drugs cost — prices that can be staggering. But that could soon change. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar proposed a huge change in drug advertising, requiring that drugmakers disclose the list price of drugs in their TV spots. The proposed transparency is as welcome as it is overdue. Health care is the only consumer commodity where sellers get to hide the price. Drugmakers have been pitching prescription drugs to consumers for decades, using pleasant music, happy faces, sexy scenes and visuals of people leading better, more fulfilling lives all because they’re taking a prescription drug. In 2016, drugmakers spent more than $6 billion on this effort. The 10 most commonly advertised drugs sport monthly prices ranging from $503 for Eliquis, which is used to prevent strokes and blood clots, to more than $11,000 for Cosentyx, to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Whether the proposed regulation is finalized ... depends on the pharmaceutical lobby’s power and the Trump administration’s resolve. Hours before Azar’s announcement, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America made its first countermove, announcing an alternate plan to ... disclose prices and co-payments of drugs advertised on TV on a new website starting in the spring.

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