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Features by Helen Palmer

Oxycontin maker admits lying about risks

The maker of the powerful painkiller Oxycontin and three of its top executives admit they lied about the drug's addiction risks. As a result, they'll pay a total of $600 million in fines. Helen Palmer reports.
Posted In: Crime, Health

Is anemia-drug use too red-blooded?

An FDA panel takes a look tomorrow at the use of anemia medications. They're often used by cancer patients, but they're expensive for patients and insurance companies. Helen Palmer reports.
Posted In: Health, Washington

Bill Clinton, drug deal superstar

The former president has worked out a deal to lower the cost of top-of-the-line AIDS treatment to less than $1 a day in developing nations. That's 50 to 70 percent less, but some say it's still too much. Helen Palmer reports.
Posted In: Canada, Health

Brazil rejects price of Merck's AIDS drug

Brazil's President Lula da Silva today authorized breaking the patent on Merck's AIDS drug Efavirenz, citing the drug's price. The country will import a generic version from India instead. Helen Palmer reports.
Posted In: Health

AstraZeneca pays to play in biotech

The giant pharmaceutical company, maker of the Crestor cholesterol drug, will pay $15.5 billion for MedImmune. Analysts say it's a good move, but the price may be too high. Helen Palmer reports.
Posted In: Health

Report: Medicare is very sick

Today's annual report on the fiscal health of the Medicare system is expected to put forth a prognosis so bleak it will trigger the program's first-ever funding warning. And even that probably won't make a difference.
Posted In: Health

More flu vaccine than we need

Drug companies are expected to pump out a record 132 million doses of flu vaccine for next winter — even though there were 20 million doses left over this year.
Posted In: Health

Medicare drug bill stalls

A bill to allow Medicare to negotiate cheaper drug prices failed in the Senate today, as Democrats couldn't muster enough votes to break a Republican filibuster. Helen Palmer reports.
Posted In: Health, Washington

First bird flu vaccine for humans OK'd

The vaccine is less than 50 percent effective and only has a shelf life of 18 months, but the FDA says it's still worth approving and stockpiling — because in the event of a pandemic, saving some lives will be better than none.
Posted In: Health

Vioxx successor seeks approval

An FDA panel votes today on a new Merck arthritis drug called Arcoxia. It's a super-aspirin like Vioxx, which was pulled off shelves after studies linked use to increased risks of heart attack and stroke. But does this new drug belong on the market?
Posted In: Health

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