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Pharmaceutical Industry

On The Media

Hype and Hope: The #SaveJosh Story

Friday, April 03, 2015

In 2014, a family launched a media campaign to pressure a drug company to provide a life-saving medicine for their son. We hear how they eventually got the drug.

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WNYC News

For Sale: Giant, Empty Pill Factories

Friday, July 18, 2014

Big pharma once employed over 40,000 people in New Jersey. Now, the “nation’s medicine chest” is shrinking and leaving behind millions of empty offices.

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The Takeaway

New Migraine Drugs Signal Hope for Millions

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Over the past 50 years, there hasn't been a single preventative drug developed that specifically targets migraines. But some new research in its early stages shows hope that a preventative drug may be within reach.

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New Jersey News

Merck To Cut 8,500 More Jobs

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Merck plans to lay off 8,500 workers as the company faces stiffer competition from generic drug makers.  That's on top of the 7,500 job cuts announced earlier.

Merck announced the latest layoffs yesterday. In total, the company is cutting about 20 percent of its work force.




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WNYC News

Drug Company Merck Announces More Layoffs

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Merck plans to cut another 8,500 jobs as the company continues to struggle with competition from cheaper generic medications.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The State of Psychiatry

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

James Davies examines the current state of psychiatry and argues that the reliance on pharmaceuticals has compromised patients' wellbeing. Cracked: The Unhappy Truth about Psychiatry investigates why psychiatry has become the fastest-growing medical field in history; why psychiatric drugs are now more widely prescribed than ever before; and why the number of mental disorders keeps expanding.

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WNYC News

Fortune 500 Features 52 New York Companies

Monday, May 06, 2013

Fifty-two New York companies including JPMorgan Chase, McGraw-Hill and Estée Lauder are part of this year's Fortune 500.

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WNYC News

Doctors as Marketers

Monday, March 11, 2013

WNYC

For the past three years, ProPublica reporters Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein have been investigating the sometimes cozy relationship between drug companies and doctors. Their reporting has revealed that some doctors receive thousands of dollars a year promoting pharmaceutical products in speeches all over the country. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ben Goldacre argues that the pharmaceutical industry is broken—from the research and testing to education to the drug approval process. In Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients, Goldacre shows that problems have been shielded from the public and explains how data manipulation and research misconduct on a global scale affects us.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Drug Companies, Happy Families

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ben Goldacre uncovers some ways that drug companies mislead doctors and can harm patients. And New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler talks about how to teach kids values and how to make your families happier.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Fungal Meningitis and Compounding Pharmacies

Friday, October 19, 2012

This week’s Please Explain looks at the outbreak of fungal meningitis from contaminated steroid shots. We’ll find out how epidemiologists trace outbreaks like this to their origins and what compounding pharmacies are and how they work. Dr. Emil Hiesiger, clinical associate professor of neurology, NYU  School of Medicine, and Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University and president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, explain.

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WNYC News

NY to Get Millions in GlaxoSmithKlein Settlement

Monday, July 02, 2012

GlaxoSmithKline will pay $146 million to New York State as part of its settlement in the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history.

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WNYC News

Empty Shelves Causing Headaches for Excedrin Users

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Excedrin users have had an extra headache recently – finding a bottle of their favorite over-the-counter painkillers.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Human Guinea Pigs for Pharmaceuticals

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On today’s Underreported, directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher talk about the people who serve as human test subjects for medications being developed by pharmaceutical companies. They look at how those medications are being marketed, sold, and used throughout the United States after they’ve been approved. It’s the subject of their documentary, “Off Label,” which is being shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Placebos and Clinical Trials

Monday, January 09, 2012

Beryl Lieff Benderly discusses the potential dangers of relying on double-blind clinical trials, which she sees as damaging the chances for patients in dire need of getting treatments. She also talks about why she thinks too many researchers are looking at what placebos aren't doing, as opposed to what they are. Her latest article, "Head Games," is in the current issue of Miller-McCune.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Blood Feud

Friday, December 09, 2011

Kathleen Sharp details the bitter war between pharmaceutical giants Amgen and Johnson & Johnson, and their attempts to push a “miracle” drug by using financial kickbacks to doctors, bribes and Medicare fraud, and using patients as guinea pigs. In Blood Feud: The Man Who Blew the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever she tells the story of Mark Duxbury, a J&J sales rep who became a whistleblower. The case is now unfolding in a federal court.

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The Takeaway

50 Years After the Horrors of Thalidomide

Thursday, December 01, 2011

It was supposed to help pregnant women deal with their morning sickness. But when the women who took thalidomide gave birth they were confronted with a horror story. Children were born with a birth defects and other problems that could be fatal. It was 50 years ago the drug Thalidomide was withdrawn after it became clear it was causing serious and sometimes fatal harm to the unborn babies of thousands of women in Europe and around the world.

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The Takeaway

Patent Expires For Popular Drug Lipitor

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The 10 million Americans who take Lipitor to deal with their high cholesterol are about to get some good news. The 20 year patent on the blockbuster prescription drug expires Wednesday, creating an opening for other companies to manufacture cheaper, chemically identical generic versions of the drug. Two companies have products coming out on the market to entice the 3.5 million users of Lipitor away. But Pfizer, the makers of Lipitor − which derives almost a fifth of its revenue from $11 billion in sales of the drug — has its own plan for keeping patients on the name brand.

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The Takeaway

FDA Revokes Approval of Avastin for Treating Breast Cancer

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Friday, the FDA ruled that cancer drug Avastin should not be used to treat breast cancer because Avastin’s risky side-effects outweigh its benefits for breast cancer patients. "Women who take Avastin for metastatic breast cancer risk potentially life threatening or serious side-effects, such as heart attacks or heart failure, severe high blood pressure, bleeding or hemorrhaging," FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Oxycontin: Painful Medicine

Monday, November 14, 2011

Katherine Eban discusses her article “Oxycontin: Painful Medicine” in the November issue of Fortune magazine. Two decades ago opioid sales were a small fraction of today’s figures, bu in recent years, doctors have started prescribing these powerful painkillers more commonly, and addiction to them has skyrocketed. Eban looks at what the strange saga of Purdue Pharma—and its $3 billion drug, OxyContin— tells us about our national dependence on painkillers.

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