Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

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.
All data on completed medical experiments are to be made available to the general public by GlaxoSmithKline, the biggest UK pharmaceutical company. The announcement is a major win for the AllTrials campaign mounted by healthcare activists as well as researchers that has gathered widespread support.
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.
Uruguay has defeated Philip Morris, the global tobacco giant, in a major international lawsuit over the country's tough anti-smoking regulations. The Swiss-based company sued Uruguay at the World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment Dispute under the terms of a 1991 bilateral investment treaty between Uruguay and Switzerland.
Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant, is in hot water after CEO Marijn Dekkers told a Financial Times conference that the company designed medicines "for western patients who can afford it" not for the "Indian market." The company has been critical of the Indian governments efforts to make cheap generic drugs available locally.
GlaxoSmithKline boss Sir Andrew Witty's pay package more than doubled to £6.7m last year - but the drugs group reckons he remains underpaid and has awarded him a new deal which could generate up to £10.4m this year.