The Weekly Pharma News Update #4

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Another Sunday, another Pharma News Update, where we summarize the most important and interesting Bio-Pharmaceutical news from the last week.

Last week was ominously grim.  Many drugs failed to show efficacy.  The bisphosphonate meds like Fosamax and Boniva might increase risk of certain types of fracture.  And on Friday, the FDA did not issue its anticipated ruling on Byetta once weekly.

#1 FDA: No Clear Evidence Linking Bisphosphonates and Fractures

Two studies have suggested that the bisphosphonate class of medications like Fosamax and Boniva are in fact linked to an increase in risk of an atypical femur fracture.  Nothing stands still in the world of Pharma; things change so fast.

#2 Yet More Drugs Fail in Trials

Many drug failures this week.   On Monday, Roche and Biogen Idec suspended trials of ocrelizumab, a rheumatoid arthritis drug.

Also on Monday, AstraZeneca’s Recentin was deemed a failure compared to Avastin as a treatment for colon cancer patients.

#3 Roche, Pfizer Cancer Meds Fail Trials

Other major drug failures this week – Roche’s Avastin fails trials for Prostate Cancer, and Pfizer’s Sutent fails for Breast Cancer in two studies.

#4 FDA Silent on Byetta Once Weekly?

Sometimes news is what didn’t happen…  The FDA did not release its highly anticipated decision on Byetta once weekly as supposed to on Friday.

#5 New BMS Chief Gets 89% Raise

The new CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lamberto Andreotti, receives an 89% percent pay increase.

#6 Drugs on Twitter: Big Pharma Lobbies for New Rules in Social Media

The FDA opened itself up to suggestions and all the power players made moves, hoping to get changes that’d make their lives easier.

Google pushed for a standard format for drug ads, which would make their lives that much easier.

Sanofi-Aventis asked for a modification to blogging rules that would help Pharma companies extend their influence to the blogosphere.

It’s a lot like Christmas.

#7 A look at most-advertised prescription medicines

Extremely interesting data – which medications were the most advertised in 2009?  Nothing on this list surprised us, but that’s probably because we saw the ads!

#8 Nursing home antipsychotic use under fire

28% of nursing home residents in Massachusettes are on antipsychotic medications.  Why?

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Pharmaceutical analyst who loves blogging about health and medical issues. Has written more than 150 articles and a book on attention deficit disorder. Correctly predicted delayed approval of Bydureon, approval of Provenge by FDA, and the non-approval of Acthar on June 11.

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