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Drug Blog Round-Up

It will be a great year. If one of your new year’s resolutions is to follow industry news more closely, here’s some required reading:

  • Hormone Therapy: Bloomberg reports on the latest Plaintiff’s Prempro victory (actually, the drug at issue here was Provera, later combined with Premarin by Wyeth to make Prempro)—a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled that the trial court wrongly granted judgment for defendants, notwithstanding a jury verdict for Plaintiff. We’ll report more on this later in the week.
  • Conflicts of Interest: The New York Times notes that two Harvard Hospitals (Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s) have issued new guidelines on outside pay for senior officials. They can now only accept a maximum of $5,000 per day of actual work—and no stock. Importantly, the speaker’s fees from drug companies are prohibited for all employees. The momentum is good—let’s hope these attitudes spread.
  • Res Ipsa Loquitur in a Medical Device case: We don’t usually agree with the Drug and Device Law blog, but we come as close as humanly possible in this situation—a federal judge in Connecticut dismissed a product defect case for orthopedic bone screws because (get this) plaintiff did not hire an expert. Maybe the plaintiff could not find an expert (in which case, the case probably should not have been filed), or maybe the plaintiff could not afford an expert in a tentative case (in which case, you get what you ask for). This world is too complicated to do without experts.
  • FDA Fails to Learn: MSNBC reports that the suggestions of congressional investigators following the Vioxx debacle have gone largely unheeded by the FDA. That report suggested that the FDA could better detect problem drugs by giving more decision-making power to scientists who monitor drug side effects following approval.
  • More Drugs For “Neglected” Diseases: The FDA Law Blog comments about the rise in drug approvals for historically neglected diseases, including malaria, kinetoplastids, diarrheal diseases, roundworm, bacterial pneumonia and meningitis, and typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Many of these disproportionately affect third-world countries, so we’re glad to see this advancing research.

Okay—now back to work!