Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

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.
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.
Almost four years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iraq's healthcare system is still a shambles. While most hospitals lack basic supplies, dozens of incomplete clinics and warehoused high-technology equipment remain as a testament to the failed U.S. experiment to reconstruct of Iraq. First in a series of CorpWatch articles.
Gilead Sciences of San Francisco is under investigation by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee for charging $84,000 for a 12 week course of a new drug to treat hepatitis C. Gilead sells the exact same course for $900 in poor countries like Egypt and India.
U.S. imports of sodium thiopental have been banned by a federal judge because of the poor quality of imports. The ruling has struck a serious blow against the death penalty because of the key role the drug plays in lethal injections. Not surprisingly, the state of Texas is furious.
In this pantheon of corporate muscle, no industry wields as much power as the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA), a pressure group breathtaking for its deep pockets and aggression, even by the standards of US politics.