Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

The algorithms that make social media addictive have become powerful mechanisms for drug dealers
David Franklin, the drug company whistle-blower who has sparked federal and state investigations into the marketing of the top-selling drug Neurontin, said yesterday that he and his former colleagues engaged in a series of inappropriate tactics, including misleading doctors to persuade them to prescribe the drug for unapproved uses.
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday released a warning letter it sent to the Guidant Corporation, restricting the ability of the company to win approval for some new medical products. In the letter, sent a week ago, the agency said Guidant, the heart device maker, had not fully responded to its concerns about manufacturing procedures at the company's biggest plant.
The economic crisis that emerged out the collapse of securities based on shaky U.S. mortgages poses challenges for the Davos World Economic Forum, an arena that has championed market-driven approaches.
Nestle says that it will destroy 400 million packets of Maggi brand instant noodles in India worth some Rs 320 crores ($50.5 million). The company made the announcement after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India found "hazardous" levels of lead in company products and ordered legal action.
Are Africa and South East Asia just suffering from a deluge of fake medicines that is causing disease resistance to rise? Or are they also suffering from a deluge of poorly informed media articles, encouraged by the pharmaceutical industry that wants to make war on generic drugs?
It is a story repeated daily in towns and villages across the developing world. Whatever the recorded cause of death - leishmaniasis, tuberculosis, pneumonia - the real cause is poverty. Poor people in tropical countries are at risk from a range of diseases for which they cannot get treatment - either because medicines are available at prices they cannot afford or, worse still, because no medicines are available.
Here is the annual Top 10 Worst Corporations of 2000 list compiled by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman. This year, rushing to the head of the pack of irresponsible biotech companies was the French corporation Aventis, the maker of Cry9C corn, sold under the name StarLink.
It happens only once a year, and yet so many headstrong corporate CEO's can't seem to cope with being in a room with shareholders for a few hours at the annual meeting.