From Pharmalot, May 24, 2010:
A pair of former hospital sales reps filed a whistleblower suit alleging Wyeth, which is now owned by Pfizer, illegally promoted its Rapamune kidney transplant drug for use with other organs and targeted African-Americans, even though this is a high-risk patient group, according to the product labeling ………..
“Despite limited data on high-risk patients, Wyeth targeted transplant centers that catered primarily to African-American patients, typically in urban areas…………… Wyeth also instructed reps to use journal articles, including one published in Transplantion in July 2002 to off-label market Rapamune to African-Americans for combinations that were not approved by the FDA…………….
From Oncology NEWS International, May 13, 2010:
Survey results indicate patient access schemes in the UK and the U.S. need refinement.
With the cost of cancer drugs increasing at a rate that is generally thought to be unsustainable, many countries are faced with the difficult question of how to ensure access to these drugs without breaking the financial resources of individuals and systems paying for them……….
From BBC News, June 3, 2010
Making more cancer drugs available could cost far more than government estimates according to a BBC investigation.The government has allowed for a £200m cancer drug fund to pay for more cancer treatments from next year. But the cost could rise to £600m based on figures from drug manufacturers and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Health economist Professor Alan Maynard……………..said many of the cancer drugs were portrayed as wonder drugs when they only extend a patient’s life by three to four months.”The pharmaceutical companies’ PR has been first class.”