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  • Drug Costs Forcing Patients To Skip Prescriptions Thursday, 4 Jun 2009 | 10:45 AM ET
    Doctor Writing

    A year or so ago, when customers buttonholed the pharmacists at Almand’s Drug Store here the questions were invariably about dosing or side effects. These days, they are almost always about cost.

  • Pharmaceuticals' Price, Politics & Proxies Tuesday, 2 Jun 2009 | 3:41 PM ET
    pharma_new3.jpg

    The cost of drugs was a hot topic at ASCO this year, especially with the release of the big test results combining two very expensive treatments for lung cancer. The study showed using Avastin from Roche and Genentech and a pill, Tarceva, from OSI Pharmaceuticals, Roche and Genentech slowed down progression of the disease by a little more than a month.

  • No ASCO Fiasco! Monday, 1 Jun 2009 | 1:58 PM ET
    asco_new_logo.jpg

    I'm happy to report that I'm scribbling out this blog from the air-conditioned comfort of the convention center in Orlando. It's the first time in my six or seven years of covering ASCO that the organization has let CNBC broadcast live from inside. And, guess what? No one seems freaked out about it.

  • Will GM Make Viagra, Cialis & Levitra Sales Sag? Friday, 29 May 2009 | 4:40 PM ET
    GM Bankruptcy

    How will male General Motors retirees get their motor runnin'? Do they start paying for their impotence drugs out of their own pocket? Because apparently, under the new deal the company won't pick up the tab anymore.

  • Pharma's Feeding Frenzy Thursday, 28 May 2009 | 12:58 PM ET
    cadeuses2.jpg

    Consumers may be saving more and spending less, but big pharma is on a shopping spree. And I'm not talking about the really big deals including Roche buying Genentech, Pfizer buying Wyeth and Merck buying Schering-Plough. I'm talking about the two deals that have been done in less than a week between major drug companies and baby biotechs specializing in oncology.

  • Amylin Works Without The 'Net Wednesday, 27 May 2009 | 5:02 PM ET
    Amylin

    I'm juggling the Amylin Pharmaceuticals proxy fight, then ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology), then the Biogen Idec shareholder meeting and then the ADA (American Diabetes Association) meeting all within a week-and-a-half.

  • Johnson & Johnson Goes To Cougar Town Friday, 22 May 2009 | 11:03 AM ET
    Cougar

    This fall ABC is launching a new show with Courtney Cox called "Cougar Town." Courtney was one of my favorite "Friends" stars and cougars are certainly a hot cultural phenomenon. Could cougars be five minutes ago by the time the show premieres? Perhaps. But maybe ABC has a hit on its hands. New TV shows are always a roll of the dice. And so is Johnson & Johnson's journey into "Cougar Town."

  • Amylin & Biogen Idec Activists, ASCO & ADA Thursday, 21 May 2009 | 12:49 PM ET
    Amylin

    It's going to be a crazy busy, stressful couple of weeks. A shareholder meeting, a medical meeting, then another shareholder meeting and finally another medical meeting.

  • Bayer And I Go To Pot Thursday, 21 May 2009 | 10:29 AM ET
    GW Pharmaceuticals

    I didn’t inhale. It’s the truth. I swear. I have never ever taken a toke on a joint or even a cigarette. Growing up, my parents were both smokers and I think I developed such a distaste for the constant cloud that it just never held any appeal for me.

  • Vermont Acts to Make Drug Makers’ Gifts Public Wednesday, 20 May 2009 | 10:30 AM ET
    cadeuses2.jpg

    Cracking down on medical industry payments to doctors, the Vermont legislature has passed a law requiring drug and device makers to publicly disclose all money given to physicians and other health care providers, naming names and listing dollar amounts, the New York Times reports.

  • Medtronic's Public Relations Devices Tuesday, 19 May 2009 | 1:21 PM ET
    Medtronic

    Medtronic may have set a record. The world's biggest medical device maker put out six press releases this morning.

  • Lilly's Lechleiter Lights A Fire Thursday, 14 May 2009 | 2:24 PM ET

    Pfizer Chairman and CEO Jeff Kindler last year repeatedly said big deals in big pharma don't work. But, he added, he'd never say never. And sure enough, this year Kindler's buying Wyeth.

  • M Is For Boston Scientific And Pfizer Thursday, 14 May 2009 | 12:23 PM ET
    boston_scientific.jpg

    This takes the prize for the most dangerously optimistic acronym for a clinical trial. But MADIT (pronounced "made it") made it. Some folks with a lot of chutzpah at Guidant, now owned by Boston Scientific, apparently came up with the name for their big studies on implantable cardio defibrillators.

  • The Pfizer "Viagrat" Backstory Wednesday, 13 May 2009 | 1:23 PM ET
    Pfizer

    Over the past few months I've blogged a couple of times about the public service announcement Pfizer produced in the UK to discourage guys from buying and taking counterfeit Viagra.

  • The Novartis Apprentice: You're Hired! Wednesday, 13 May 2009 | 11:16 AM ET
    Novartis Headquarters

    What does it say when a drugmaker hires a Goldman Sachs investment banker as its next Chief Financial Officer? That's the question I'm asking after Novartis announced that it's tapped a managing director of investment banking at Goldman Sachs, Jonathan Symonds, as its CFO apprentice.

  • Carl Icahn Takes On Biogen Idec ... Again Tuesday, 12 May 2009 | 10:23 AM ET
    Carl Icahn

    Billionaire activist investor (It seems it's become almost de rigueur to put those three words before his name) Carl Icahn is apparently so busy waging a proxy fight against biotechs Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Biogen Idec that he hasn't posted a new blog entry in nearly a month.

  • Hospitals Begin to Move Into Supermarkets Tuesday, 12 May 2009 | 10:14 AM ET
    doctor

    As walk-in clinics at stores like CVS and Wal-Mart offer convenient alternatives to doctors’ offices and hospital emergency rooms, some hospitals are fighting back - with walk-in clinics at some of those same retailers.

  • There's No ME in aMYlin Monday, 11 May 2009 | 10:19 AM ET
    Amylin

    Imagine my surprise when I got an email over the weekend from "Diabetic Investor" newsletter editor David Kliff informing me that Amylin Pharmaceuticals is quoting me in a letter to shareholders.

  • Taking A Shot At GlaxoSmithKline Friday, 8 May 2009 | 12:18 PM ET
    GlaxoSmithKline

    The Glaxo announcement contained the results of the first head-to-head study of GSK’s Cervarix versus Merck’s Gardasil. They’re the shots for the sexually transmitted virus that can cause genital warts and cervical cancer. MRK’s is already on the market. GSK’s has been delayed in getting there.

  • Merck Cancer Shot Offers Longer Protection: Study Friday, 8 May 2009 | 6:35 AM ET

    A new study shows that Merck's Gardasil vaccine protects some young women from a strain of a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer for nearly a decade.