Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals
Three major U.S. medical associations - the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Cardiology - have bowed to pressure from activist doctors to stop accepting corporate donations from Coca-Cola. The campaigners say Coke exerted undue influence over the medical groups.
Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) - the world's largest operator of private clinics and hospitals - has come under the spotlight for performing unnecessary cardiac procedures, notably in Florida.
Many veterans' advocates believe a certain anthrax vaccine to be a major cause of Gulf War sickness. The company manufacturing it has launched a massive lobbying campaign to persuade the Bush administration to stockpile the controversial drug so it can be administered to civilians.
African leaders used the opening of the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV-AIDS Monday to assail the international community's response to the deadly epidemic for failing to match the speed and seriousness with which the disease is infecting their citizens. Official after official rose to drive home the message that the death of more than 20 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, demands that more money be committed to the fight.
Six executives of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis have been indicted in a South Korean bribery scandal. The indictments follow similar charges in China, Turkey and the U.S. and allegations of falsifying drug trial data in Japan. Korean prosecutors have recommended that Novartis sales be suspended for six months.
Myriad Genetics has lost its right to be the exclusive U.S. commercial provider of genetic screening tests for breast cancer or ovarian cancer. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which sued the company, claimed that the patent would limit scientific research as well as health care options for women.
GlaxoSmithKline is to discount significantly its pneumonia vaccine for private customers in Africa after claims from a medical charity it is "profiteering" by charging western prices.
US officials have refused to bust Bayer's monopoly on anthrax drugs, even though generic drugs would save $millions. Bayer's patent was protected under the WTO. Now those rights are challenged.
As East African countries are about to change national malaria treatment protocols, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) today releases a report in the hope of averting a fatal choice.