Weekly Roundup – 12-11-09

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 Another late Weekly Roundup.  My apologies.  I have been on the road (Chicago this week) and fighting and losing a battle with a flu that is dragging on, and on, and on.

Snow blanketed much of the nation this week.  The Congress is hard at work on a health care reform bill that should be easy, but which they make hard.  It would seem if we can borrow a trillion dollars to go to war, we should be able to spend a trillion to keep people well.  This week's drama was built around drug importation.  

And here is a little of what happened in our world:

  • FDA to Hold Crestor Meeting – This week, the FDA posted its briefing materials for an upcoming meeting of the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee that will be held on December 15 to discuss the sNDA for Crestor.  AstraZeneca is going for an indication for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.  This should be big news.  
  • Stem Cell Development in Treatment of Sickle Cell – Over the years, we have heard a lot about the promise of stem cells.   This week, NIH announced something tangible however, by releasing information about a study of stem cell treatment for sickle cell anemia.   In the treatment, which involved a modified adult stem cell transplant, the course of the disease was reversed in 9 out of 10 people with sickle cell.  
  • Grassley Looks for More Sunshine – The sponsor of the Sunshine Act, proposed legislation to make the financial relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and medical societies more transparent, Charles E. Grassley, sent letters out to a gaggle of medical societies to inquire how much money they have gotten from pharma.  If memory serves me correctly, when he tried this with televangelists, some of them told him to get lost, and he did.  Doubt the medical societies will try that.  Nothing in the Sunshine Act, by the way, that would create a mechanism of disclosure for campaign contributions to senatorial campaigns.  Or how about a Sunshine on Earmarks Act?
  • AstraZeneca Creates Web Page on SocMed Sites – I wish everyone would do this.  AstraZeneca has kindly created a Web page that lists all of its social media endeavors.  Very forward thinking while other companies have been too timid to utter the words social media. And it is emblematic of how important social media has become as a means to effectively communicate with stakeholders.  Nice going.  

That is it for me and my fog of flu.  Hope you have a good and healthy weekend.  Hope I can make a hot toddy tonight.    

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