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Volume 3, Number 42
December 22, 2006


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News

Anthrax Vaccine Contract Voided, Thwarting Administration
Washington Post, 12-20-06

Editor's Notes:

It's official: Project Bioshield is in tatters. Earlier this week the department of Health and Human Services canceled its contract with VaxGen to develop millions of doses of a next–generation anthrax vaccine. The cancellation came after repeated setbacks and acrimony between the company and the federal agency.
Continue reading . . .

New Warnings Proposed For Over–the–Counter Drugs
The New York Times, 12-20-06

Editor's Notes:

The many familiar over–the–counter (OTC) pain medicines that millions of consumers use every day can become surprisingly dangerous under the right (or wrong) circumstances. To help consumers understand these risks the FDA is proposing labeling changes for many OTC pain relievers, particularly for drugs containing acetaminophen.
Continue reading . . .

New Drugs Declining, Research Costs Increasing, GAO Says
Washington Post, 12-20-06

Editor's Notes:

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report that found that the pharmaceutical industry is spending ever larger sums of money on the research and development of new medicines, but fewer new drugs are coming on the market. The billion–dollar question, however, is what to make of these findings.
Continue reading . . .

The Future of the FDA
The Scientist, 12-18-06

Editor's Notes:

The Scientist offers an insightful look at the future of the FDA—at least for the next year. And there are plenty of regulatory clouds on the horizon.
Continue reading . . .

The more you pay, the better the care? Think Twice
The New York Times, 12-17-06

Editor's Notes:

The New York Times reviews evidence showing widespread disparities in health care costs across the U.S., including studies indicating that additional health care spending does not necessarily result in better health.
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Commentary

The myth of the big bad drug companies
Richard A. Epstein, Los Angeles Times, 12-22-06

Epstein, a law professor at the University of Chicago, takes on the myth that pharmaceutical companies are irresponsible behemoths who ought to be considered enemies of the public health.
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We're Not Your Drugstore
Louise Crandall, New York Sun, 12-20-06

Crandall, a member of the Canadian Pharmacists Association, explains why Americans shouldn't look to Canada as their drugstore in the Great White North.
Continue reading . . .

Sometimes, the Why Really Isn't Crucial
Sally Satel, MD, The New York Times, 12-19-06

Satel, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, explains why patients suffering from drug and alcohol addiction don't need to unravel the psychological roots of their problems before embracing meaningful life changes.
Continue reading . . .

Drug Ads: Kill the Messenger
Sally C. Pipes, New York Post, 12-19-06

Pipes takes issue with Congressional proposals that aim to limit or outlaw advertising for new drugs.
Continue reading . . .

Don't Expose drug makers to business killing lawsuits
Detroit News, 12-18-06

This editorial, from the Detroit News, argues that repealing Michigan laws designed to protect pharmaceutical companies from frivolous lawsuits would cost the state jobs without addressing critics' real concerns.
Continue reading . . .

Death in the shade of world’s attention
Jerry Norris, Business Day, 12-15-06

Norris argues that treating chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease in the developing world should become a higher international priority.
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Let's Pay Up for Alzheimer's
Newt Gingrich, Robert Egge, Business Week, 12-11-06

Gingrich makes the case that the U.S. should sharply increase funding into the research and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
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Research

Multiple Biomarkers for the Prediction of First Major Cardiovascular Events and Death
Thomas J. Wang, M.D., et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 12-21-06

This article finds that using biomarkers (like C-reactive protein and homosyteine) to help predict the risks of patients developing life-threatening cardiovascular disease have only marginal advantages over traditional risk factor analysis.
Continue reading . . .


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In this week's issue:

NEWS

Anthrax Vaccine Contract Voided, Thwarting Administration
New Warnings Proposed For Over–the–Counter Drugs
New Drugs Declining, Research Costs Increasing, GAO Says
The Future of the FDA
The more you pay, the better the care? Think Twice

COMMENTARY

The myth of the big bad drug companies
We're Not Your Drugstore
Sometimes, the Why Really Isn't Crucial
Drug Ads: Kill the Messenger
Don't Expose drug makers to business killing lawsuits
Death in the shade of world’s attention
Let's Pay Up for Alzheimer's

RESEARCH

Multiple Biomarkers for the Prediction of First Major Cardiovascular Events and Death
Center for Medical Progress 
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