Medical Progress Today
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Volume 2, Number 32
September 1, 2005


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In the Spotlight

Ernst v. Merck - one more view

Ted Frank, Medical Progress Today, 9-1-05

You might've thought that you needed to marry a billionaire to get $24 million from a one-year marriage, but we now know that that a one-year marriage to a 59-year-old Wal-Mart produce manager with arteriosclerosis is worth $24 million in compensatory damages. Mrs. Ernst is apparently very lucky that her new husband died from a sudden arrhythmia rather than from a brain tumor or lightning strike, because I'll bet a year's salary that she didn't have a $24 million life insurance policy on him to compensate her in the event of a sudden death.
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News

Online Extra: Putting the FDA Out Front
Business Week, 9-5-05

Hereís some wisdom from Woodcock. Thanks Janet. Hopefully words presage deeds!
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Lilly battles five-year flu, Analysts: Drugmaker primed for rebound from Prozac defeat
Indianapolis Business Journal, 8-29-05

Hereís how to do it right the Hoosier way. Hard work. Smarts. Determination. And minimal bloviating.
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Whose Vioxx is gored?
Los Angeles Times, 8-28-05

And a surprisingly welcome voice is that of Michael Kinsley.
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Drug prices under fire: Pharmacists pocket higher Medi-Cal reimbursements
The San Francisco Chronicle, 8-27-05

It is just astounding what politicians will do to advance their careers. Last week Mr. Lockyer was attacking tunafish. As a resident of California, he should be reminded of the Japanese proverb, "Donít fix the blame. Fix the problem."
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Prescription Drugs: Cigna Launches Web Site To Help Customers Compare Prescription Drug Prices
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 8-26-05

When asked how consumers can save money on their prescriptions (other than caveat emptor importation), I always point out that comparison-shopping between pharmacies can have a huge impact. So kudos to Cigna for their new web site that shows drug prices for 52,000 pharmacies nationwide (both brick-and-mortar and Internet).
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The Lobbying-Industrial Complex
The New York Times, 8-26-05

If you build it, they will come.
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Stung by Public Distrust, Drug Makers Seek to Heal Image
Wall Street Journal, 8-26-05

Breaking news - Pharma industry has image problem. Enough about the problem, how about a thoughtful, long-term solution. (Note to Pharma execs: this means changing what "long-term" means from the end of the quarter to the end of the quarter century.)
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Cheap medicine proves a gold mine for Mexican pharmacist in politics
Associated Press Newswires, 8-26-05

This just scares the bejesus out of me. I hope that Senators Dorgan, Vitter and Grassley have their pesos at the ready.
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US retirees still wary of Medicare drug plan-study
Reuters News, 8-25-05

Itís amazing what a little proactive communications can achieve. While searching for stories on the new prescription drug benefit, I found mostly positive stories Ė and itís about time. (Although I should also mention that these were not the stories being pushed to Page One by The New York Times or the Washington Post.)
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Patents versus Patients? Antiretroviral Therapy in India
New England Journal of Medicine, 8-25-05

Itís access not price, stupid.
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Drug database canít take doctorís place
Georgia Strait, 8-25-05

Itís not how much information youíve got, itís what you can do with it.
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Health Agency Tightens Rules Governing Federal Scientists
The New York Times, 8-25-05

Quite a quandary. How do you recruit and retain the best and the brightes and, maintain integrity while, at the same time, treating your professional staff like, well, professionals?
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Metabolic syndrome doesn't exist, diabetes groups claim
USA Today, 8-25-05

Itís time that we all begin to look at new solutions to our nationís obesity epidemic. ADA is, surprisingly, not being helpful and one wonders why?
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Panel wants state to waive stem cell product royalties: Experts say profit interest may discourage private investment
The San Francisco Chronicle, 8-24-05

And this is all about advancing the public health, right?
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Commentary



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In this week's issue:

SPOTLIGHT

Ernst v. Merck - one more view

NEWS

Online Extra: Putting the FDA Out Front
Lilly battles five-year flu, Analysts: Drugmaker primed for rebound from Prozac defeat
Whose Vioxx is gored?
Drug prices under fire: Pharmacists pocket higher Medi-Cal reimbursements
Prescription Drugs: Cigna Launches Web Site To Help Customers Compare Prescription Drug Prices
The Lobbying-Industrial Complex
Stung by Public Distrust, Drug Makers Seek to Heal Image
Cheap medicine proves a gold mine for Mexican pharmacist in politics
US retirees still wary of Medicare drug plan-study
Patents versus Patients? Antiretroviral Therapy in India
Drug database canít take doctorís place
Health Agency Tightens Rules Governing Federal Scientists
Metabolic syndrome doesn't exist, diabetes groups claim
Panel wants state to waive stem cell product royalties: Experts say profit interest may discourage private investment

COMMENTARY

Center for Medical Progress 
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