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Another Sunday, another Health and Life Pharma News update!

As follows, are the biggest Pharma news items of the last week to get you up to speed.

#1 California County Sues GSK Over Avandia

A California county is suing GlaxoSmithKline, accusing it of falsely advertising its diabetes medication, Avandia.

This is a significant and unpleasant event for Glaxo, which has been embroiled for several weeks in controversy that its popular diabetes medication had unreported and high rates of heart problems.

#2 Medivation’s Dimebon fails Phase III for Alzheimer’s, shares collapse

This week Dimebon, a proposed treatment for Alzheimer’s, failed to show efficacy in a Phase III trial.  Shares of Medivation, its makers, plunged 68%.

Those in the know were rightfully skeptical.  Not an unexpected but still nasty new item.

#3 Bayer’s Birth-Control Problem Is Exploding: 1,100 Lawsuits Allege Yaz Causes Blood Clots

Bayer’s 2009 annual report reveals that more than 1,100 lawsuits have been filed against it, claiming that birth control pill Yaz causes birth defects.

#4 FDA panel backs Bristol transplant drug

On March 1, an FDA advisory panel voted 13-5 that Belatacept should be accepted later by the FDA, noting that potential concerns could be monitored for after approval.

Belatacept is a novel treatment for preventing rejection of kidney transplants.  Final voting will take place on May 1rst.

#5 Bristol-Myers Operating Chief To Replace Cornelius As CEO

Bristol-Myers Squibb is changing its leadership.  It revealed on Tuesday that Lamberto Andreotti will be the new CEO, replacing James Cornelius who is retiring.

#6 Controversy on PSA Test for Prostate Cancer

This week had more controversy for once dearly viewed diagnostic tests.  The question raised is, do tests for Prostate Cancer save lives through better detection?  Considering the extremely high rate of false positives in prostate cancer screening, the answer is not so easy.

#7 1/4 Parents Believe Vaccines Cause Autism

One out of four parents believe that some vaccines cause autism.

#8 Gene Test Aids Breast Cancer Treatment

Innovative research shows that 6 genes can point to response to traditional chemotherapy or not in patients being treated for breast cancer.  This is important because of how common breast cancer is and because it may pave the way to genetic testing for improved treatment of other cancers as well.

#9 New Breast Cancer Subtype?

The Drug Discovery Opinion reports on the possible discovery of a new subtype of breast cancer.  This may lead to new treatment options for triple negative breast cancer women.



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