Submarine Patents: What is their Role?

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Humira and Enbrel are biologic drugs, composed of complex proteins made in living cells. Humira was the No. 1 selling biologic with $14 billion in global sales and Enbrel was the No. 3 biologic at $8.7 billion. Questions: 1. Approximately how much is the yearly price tag for these drugs per patient? 2. During the… Read more »

Shkreli Smurks at Congress and Later Calls Them “Imbeciles”

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Martin Shkreli, the former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, repeatedly exercised his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination, infuriating members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Mr. Shkreli is facing federal securities fraud charges. Questions: 1. What is the scandal that Mr. Shkreli’s company is apart of? 2. What is the connection… Read more »

“A Very Dangerous Process”

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Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of Daraprim,a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating malaria and toxoplasmosis. Questions: 1. What are the causes of price increases for drugs like Daraprim? 2. What is the past controversy associated with Martin Shkreli, the founder and chief… Read more »

Are you getting what is advertised?

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Four major retailers were accused by the New York State attorney general’s office of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements. The attorney general demanded that they remove the products from their shelves. Questions: 1. Who were the four national retailers? 2. What were the results of tests performed on the supplements? 3. In summary,… Read more »

FDA Cracks Down on Scary Imports That Impact Public Safety

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India is the second largest exporter of over-the-counter and prescription drugs to the U.S. However, the FDA has recently increased their inspections of these manufacturers due to falsified drug test results, safety lapses, and the sale of fake medicines. Questions: 1. What percentage of U.S. over-the-counter and generic prescription drugs are supplied by India manufacturers?… Read more »

An Epidemic or A Disorder Proliferated by Marketing?

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The sales of prescription stimulants for A.D.H.D. have more than quadrupled since 2002. Is it an epidemic? According to Dr. Keith Conners, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University, who has been fighting to legitimize A.D.H.D diagnoses for the past 50 years, the rise is probably due to successful marketing campaigns that feed on… Read more »

The Business Model of Overstating Benefits: How Harmful or Ethical?

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It is estimated that between 50,000 to 100,000 patients died or had a heart attack as a result of taking the drug Advandia. For seven years, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) failed to report data that indicated Advandia increases the risk of heart attack by 40%. As we reported back in July, in the biggest health care fraud… Read more »