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  • Healthcare on the Other Hill Monday, 8 Jan 2007 | 2:34 PM ET

    While on Capitol Hill the new Congress begins to take on the pharmaceuticals industry, the healthcare investment community is holding its annual confab in the hills of San Francisco--House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home district. I'm at the 25th Annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference at the Westin St. Francis on Union Square. The four-day event is just getting started, but the halls are...

  • First Tysabri, Now Rituxan Tuesday, 19 Dec 2006 | 1:33 PM ET

    The same rare, but fatal viral infection that forced Biogen Idec and Elan to recall, and recently relaunch, the multiple sclerosis drug, Tysabri, may also be a side effect of Rituxan, also from Biogen Idec and Genentech. In an SEC filing -- not a press release -- and on the FDA website, the companies and the agency disclosed yesterday evening that two people with lupus died after taking Rituxan.

  • FDA Issues Rituxan Drug Warning Tuesday, 19 Dec 2006 | 9:52 AM ET

    Two lupus patients died from a rare brain infection after taking the Genentech and Biogen drug Rituxan, U.S. health officials said in an advisory issued Monday.

  • Biosante Shares Soar on Elestrin OK Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 12:39 PM ET

    The drug, designed to treat hot flashes associated with menopause, will be marketed in the U.S. by Bradley Pharmaceuticals .

  • FDA May Expand Antidepressant Warning Wednesday, 13 Dec 2006 | 12:12 PM ET

    Treatment with antidepressants increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in patients up to age 24, according to proposed changes to the drugs' labels unveiled by health officials.

  • Merck Has One, Too Tuesday, 12 Dec 2006 | 2:27 PM ET

    At the Merck annual analyst day here in company headquarters in central New Jersey, the company revealed for the first time what many on the Street had suspected: it has a so-called CETP inhibitor in the drug development pipeline.  That's the same type of drug that Pfizer pulled the plug on last week because of an increased risk of death.

  • What a Week! Monday, 11 Dec 2006 | 1:33 PM ET

    From the Pfizer shocker about Torcetrapib, to new guidance from Merck and Lilly, to the FDA Advisory Committee meeting on the safety of drug-coated stents -- it was an incredibly busy week. Some final thoughts on the stent meeting...

  • Greetings from the Gaithersburg, Maryland Hilton! That's where the FDA is holding the advisory committee meeting on the safety of drug-coated stents. For less high-profile FDA meetings this hotel and the Holiday Inn across the street (the FDA alternates between them) are just fine. But for a big meeting like this one the venue is way too small.

  • Diabetes and Big Pharma Thursday, 7 Dec 2006 | 11:08 AM ET

    While I'm in the car--not driving--on my way to the airport to go to the FDA Advisory Committee meeting on drug-coated stents I wanted to pass along some news from the Eli Lilly analyst meeting this morning in New York that I just left.

  • A Kindler Pfizer Tuesday, 5 Dec 2006 | 2:13 PM ET

    So, it took the torpedoeing of torcetrapib to get new Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler to finally talk to us. He came on "Power Lunch" today for his first TV interview since taking the helm more than four months ago. A former litigator, he is media savvy, telegenic and a smooth-talker. I don't know why he didn't come on before he was put in the position of serious crisis management with a major hole to fill in the company's drug pipeline and about a ten percent decline in the stock price.

  • Buckle Up: It's Gonna be a Wild Ride Monday, 4 Dec 2006 | 2:07 PM ET

    Saturday night Pfizer dropped a bombshell.  Two days after the company announced it planned--if all went well--to file for FDA approval of its developmental cholesterol pill Torcetrapib in the second half of next year, Pfizer suddenly pulled the plug on the drug.  Tests had shown this pill raises good cholesterol and lowers bad.  But the FDA says early Saturday morning Pfizer's Independent Data Safety Monitoring Board told the company about people who died in a clinical trial.