Drug Regulators Set Restriction for Avandia Sales

Drug regulators in Europe and the United States have restricted sale of the popular diabetes medicine Avandia.

The European Medicine Agency is suspending Avandia.  The Food and Drug Administration is allowing patients access to the medicine if doctors vouch that the patient has tried every otherdiabetes medicine.  The patient must also be informed of the medications risks.

Many doctors that have studied Avandia and feel the medication increases heart attacks in patients taking Avandia.  Doctors feel it is necessary to fully investigate the possible adverse health effects Avandia could cause.

The European Medicine Agency and the FDA should continue to investigate Avandia.  Because the European Medicine Agency is suspending the drug, it makes me wonder why the FDA is not doing the same.

Other alternatives to Avandia should be presented to the patient.  Patients need to fully understand why the medicine is in question and how the use of Avandia may cease in Europe and the United States.

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Obese and Healthy

A study published in the September issue of the journal Diabetes Care found that people who are obese and metabolically healthy could improve their health by loosing weight.  Metabolically healthy means the individual has healthy cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

This new study differs from an earlier finding that people who are obese and healthy may become less healthy by loosing weight.  The new study has yet to provide information as to why and how some people manage to be obese and healthy.

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Walgreen Withdraws from Bidding After Acquiring Inside Information

A Walgreen Company executive improperly took a competitor’s confidential financial data, forcing the drugstore to withdraw from the bidding for a contract to provide pharmacy services for the City of Chicago and most local government agencies.  Walgreen is out of the bidding for the contract, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, after a company executive obtained bid materials from CVS Caremark as the two companies competed for the contract.  The Walgreen executive is no longer with the company, and Walgreen hired prominent former federal prosecutor, Patrick M. Collins, to conduct an internal investigation.  Walgreen officials said the incident was the action of a sole employee who did not have authorization from superiors.

Walgreen executives handled this crisis responsibly.  Immediately retaining outside counsel to lead an internal investigation was a good choice because it seems as though the company has nothing to hide.  Walgreen executives dealt with the employee and issues at hand, instead of covering it up.  Walgreen did the right thing when they willingly removed themselves from the bidding process.  By following crisis communication steps Walgreen executives minimized negative publicity.

Source: www.nytimes.com

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Pfizer Inc. plans to cut research-and –development spending by $3 billion by 2012.  The pharmaceutical company plans to do this in an attempt to be cost effective without sacrificing drug development.  These plans were made after Pfizer purchased Wyeth.  Pfizer Chief Executive Jeffrey Kindler believes the pharmaceutical partnership is a good thing.  He thinks the partnership has created a good balance between efficiency and innovation.  His statement is in response to critics questioning the research-and-development cut.  Pfizer will still have one of the highest pharmaceutical research budgets.

Pfizer is doing a good job at backing the choice to cut research-and-development spending.  The information about the merger with Wyeth and about the spending cut has been done openly.  Company spokespeople seem confident about Pfizer’s future and the company’s ability to develop new medicines.  Pfizer has used a good public relations strategy.  The company backing its decisions helps assures publics that the right thing is being done

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