May 9, 2007
Pay for Prescriptions
The NYT has a story focusing on legal but eyebrow-raising payments to physicians by Amgen and J&J relating to prescriptions of anemia drugs -- drugs which are now being questions on safety and efficacy grounds:
Neither Amgen nor Johnson & Johnson has disclosed the total amount of the payments. But documents given to The New York Times show that at just one practice in the Pacific Northwest, a group of six cancer doctors received $2.7 million from Amgen for prescribing $9 million worth of its drugs last year.
Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration added to concerns about the drugs, releasing a report that suggested that their use might need to be curtailed in cancer patients. The report, prepared by F.D.A. staff scientists, said no evidence indicated that the medicines either improved quality of life in patients or extended their survival, while several studies suggested that the drugs can shorten patients’ lives when used at high doses. Yesterday’s report followed the F.D.A.’s decision in March to strengthen warnings on the drugs’ labels.
And, yes, lots of Google AdWord purchases for the drugs' names and "attorney."
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