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Pharmaguy's News & Views Picks A collection of abstracts and links to pharmaceutical industry news and opinions curated by Pharmaguy™, a highly regarded industry pundit.

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Old 20th November 2012, 07:36 AM
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Default Another GSK Exposé * Fishy Cardio Drug Loses Favor * Doctors Want Free Lunch Back!

November 20, 2012

(Also see the Pharmaguy SM Pioneer Daily:

[Contents: Another GSK Exposé * Fishy Cardio Drug Looses Favor * Doctors Want Free Lunch Back! * What Can Pharma Learn from Steve Jobs?]

Asthma guidelines written by doctors with financial ties to maker
Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today

Advair boomed amid health risks.

A Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation found the growth in Advair sales followed new asthma treatment recommendations that were written largely by doctors who received money from GlaxoSmithKline and other companies that market the drugs.

And the FDA sidestepped the concerns of some of its own doctors, who warned of the drugs' risks, especially among children and African-Americans, the investigation found. Those FDA doctors had urged that Advair and similar products not be prescribed to children and that other long-acting beta-agonists be taken off the market.

The picture of how a potentially dangerous drug became commonly prescribed comes from a Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today review of transcripts of FDA hearings, financial disclosures, medical journal articles and a U.S. Department of Justice complaint against GlaxoSmithKline.

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Also, read these related articles:

Could A Fish Oil Backlash Wash Out Amarin Pharmaceuticals?

Amarin Pharmaceuticals has been a biotech success story. Over the past two years the share price has tripled as the tiny company has managed to get approval from the Food and Drug Administration for Vascepa, a fish-oil pill that in many ways seems set to take market share from a blockbuster competitor, GlaxoSmithKline’s Lovaza. There are even reports that AstraZeneca and Teva Pharmaceuticals have considered buying it.

But now scientific publications, comments from doctors, and prescription trends all hint that the market for prescription fish oil in the U.S. may be shifting dramatically against fish oil and Lovaza use is going down. Investors have been focused on whether Vascepa has strong enough patent protection. But what if the real problem is the state of the fish oil market?

The idea that some drugs may improve laboratory values without helping patients is now popular among cardiologists.

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Survey says: Doctors want lunch

Although breakfast is the most important meal of the day, MedScape's 2012 Ethics Survey results show lunch weighs heavily on doctors' minds. The survey of 24,000 US physicians included questions that covered a wide array of topics, including if they feel lunch with a drug rep might sway their prescribing habits.

This last one drew 23,710 physician responses, with 72% saying a meal would not influence them, 20% saying it could cultivate bias, and 8% saying "it depends."

Although premiums like pens and pencils have also fallen by the wayside, Kane said doctors could care less, but the loss of lunch continues to rankle.

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One physician who voted Yes said: "I am outraged at the notion that a lunch or a pen or a book could be felt to be inducement for me to prescribe certain drugs." There are studies that show what doctors think and what they do are two different things (see study “The effects of pharmaceutical firm enticements on physician prescribing patterns. There’s no such thing as a free lunch” attached).

Also, read these related articles:

What can pharma can learn from Steve Jobs?

In the course of an eventful career - not always characterised by success - Jobs was able to articulate the philosophy which informed his leadership of the company. To mark a year since his passing, Pharmafile asked members of the team at specialist pharmaceutical strategic marketing consultancy The MSI Consultancy to suggest some lessons that the pharma industry could learn from Mr Jobs.

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(Also see the Pharmaguy SM Pioneer Daily:
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Last edited by pharmaguy : 20th November 2012 at 07:49 AM.
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