Weekly Roundup – 12/08/06


The year is drawing to a close, the cold north winds are blowing.  Winds blow in our nation’s capitol as well and everyone is rushing to get things done, including the Senate, which is busy passing bills on voice votes that have long been delayed by their idleness.  And here’s some of what happened this week:

  • Andrew C. von Eschenbach Confirmed – Well, it only took several months, but the nomination of Dr. von Eschenbach was confirmed last night in an 80-11 vote in the Senate.  If he serves out the rest of the Bush Administration, which is still two more years, he will be the longest-sitting FDA Commissioner of the decade.  Congratulations Dr. von Eschenbach.  Now please get things going in the right direction….
  • Pfizer Drug Trial Halted – If you were on another planet, you haven’t heard the news that Pfizer halted Phase III studies on its cholesterol lowering drug torcetrapib, reportedly due to safety concerns when the two arms of the trial were compared – or my own theory was that no one could pronounce torcetrapib.  Good outlooks and points of view on this can be found at In the Pipeline which had three postings this week on the topic. 
  • Good Merger Reporting – Speaking of blogs, something I don’t pay much attention to are business mergers of pharmaceutical companies, but if you do, I would encourage you to follow the writings of Ed Vawter over at QDIS.  He gets the word out about companies I’ve never even heard of, like in this posting.
  • Chihuahua in Trouble – The FDA is joining the e-coli investigation involving Taco Bell.  It is one of many disease outbreaks getting national attention recently and may only fuel the debate about which agency should be doing what when it comes to food safety. 

That’s it for this week folks.  Have a pleasant weekend and get your holiday shopping done!

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