Open Medicine EU

Now Risperdal in the dock

When you start writing about atypical anti-psychotics it’s hard to stop. In earlier posts I wrote about Seroquel and Zyprexa. Now, according to an article in Bloomberg news (and other media) Risperdal is the latest anti-psychotic to fall foul of the law, and not for the first time in this case. On March 24th a… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

Within weeks of his retirement as Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency, Thomas Lonnegren was appointed to the board of NDA a “regulatory and market access business” and has also joined a number of other industry groups CBio, Novo Nordisk, LUNDBECK A/S. The appointments were approved at least by the chairman or the board… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

A Paris court has ruled in favour of Prescrire in the case taken by Astellas Pharma. The company had claimed that the independent drugs bulletin had wrongly criticised the use of Protopic (tacrolimus) for long term maintenance/prevention in certain cases of eczema. Congratulations to Prescrire and a sigh of relief. The result was not unexpected… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

Food (Medicine?) for Thought

I read a slightly scary article in the Wall Street Journal Europe on 2nd February under the headline “Nestlé Buys ‘Medical Food’ Start-Up” (accessible online only to subscribers). The article goes on to describe some of these “medical foods”. One product in development by the company is Fostrup, a chewing gum containing a substance “designed… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

In an earlier post I mentioned the case taken against the independent drug bulletin Prescrire by Astellas Pharma. In brief, Prescrire criticised the decision of the French medicines authority to approve the use of the anti-eczema topical drug tacrolimus (Protopic) for long term use in certain cases. The company took exception to this opinion and… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

In an earlier post I reported that the FDA was to test a drug, sodium thiopental, imported for use in executions. Some weeks later, according to the Wall Street Journal, the agency said that it was “charged by Congress with protecting the public health …… Reviewing substances imported or used for the purpose of state-authorized… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

The UK is not the only country where opinions on medicines can be challenged in court. In France, Astellas Pharma, a Japanese multinational pharmaceutical company has filed a lawsuit in Paris against the independent French medical journal, Prescrire, for publishing unfavorable comments about their anti-eczema ointment, tacrolimus (brand name – Protopic). The case arises from… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

ZYPREXA OFF-LABEL

Prescribing “off-label” means prescribing a medicine for a use for which it is not authorised. Pharmaceutical companies may not promote off-label use of their medicines, for good reason. There is not the same tested scientific base for off-label use as there is for authorised use. Qualified doctors may prescribe off-label, on the basis of their… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

Now, some changes, and clarifications, for the New Year. First a change of banner. A friend who knows about these things tells me that the original banner is “amateurish”. This is hard but may be true, because I designed it myself. (If anyone is interested, my design was supposed to represent the rising sun of… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

New Study on False Claims

I was proud to be there at the beginning of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) in 1998. It was and is the focus for a very fruitful collaboration between major EU and US consumer groups, in many fields including pharmaceuticals. One of the US partners in that collaboration, Public Citizen, has recently published the results… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray