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 •  August 30

US regulators approved the first cancer drug that uses a patient’s own cells to fight cancer. But the drug is priced at $475,000. Oncologists described the drug, made by Novartis and marketed as Kymriah, as revolutionary, but critics worried the first-of-its-kind cancer treatment could usher in a new class of ultra-expensive medications. Kymriah...

www.theguardian.com

 •  August 5

A drug commonly used to treat diabetes could help those living with Parkinson’s disease, research has revealed. By 2020 it is predicted that 162,000 individuals in the UK will be living with the condition. While existing drugs help to control its symptoms, there are currently none available which slow or halt its progression. But now scientists say...

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 •  July 26

GlaxoSmithKline’s new chief executive Emma Walmsley has laid out plans to cut one in three of the pharma group’s drug development programmes as part of a shakeup of the business. She also plans to offload 130 non-core brands and possibly sell off the unit that works on treatments for rare diseases. Walmsley, the former head of the drugmaker’s...

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 •  May 10

Drug support worker Chris Gough has seen dozens of clients since the Coalition announced its controversial testing plan for welfare recipients on Tuesday. On average, each person who has walked into his cramped Canberra office, five minutes drive from parliament, is receiving Centrelink benefits, lives below the poverty line and struggles with...

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 •  April 14

Two drugmakers have asked a judge to stop the use of their medicines for executions in Arkansas, which plans to kill seven men over 11 days before the state’s supply of a lethal injection drug expires. Fresenius Kabi USA and West-Ward Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of two drug compounds often used for executions in the US, filed amicus briefs...

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 •  February 14

The psychiatric drug age may have reached its peak. Although mind-altering medications are being prescribed in record numbers, signs of a radically new approach to understanding and treating mental illness are emerging from the deep waters of neuroscience. No longer focused on developing pills, a huge research effort is now devoted to altering the...

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 •  February 14

Cells used to study “dementia in a dish” have led scientists to a potential new treatment strategy for an inherited form of the brain disease. Defective stem cells grown in the lab revealed a signalling pathway linked to frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which accounts for about half of dementia cases before the age of 60. Treatment with a drug that...

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 •  February 14

The long-fought battle for greater transparency in human drug trials is facing a major setback after a legal challenge against full disclosure from within the pharmaceutical industry. The Health Research Authority, which authorises trials and works to ensure the safety of patients taking part, has proposed that all drug trials must in future be...

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 •  February 14

The pharmaceutical industry plays a fundamental role in achieving international development targets. This was recognised in the millennium development goals (MDGs), which explicitly mention that providing access to affordable essential drugs in low- and middle-income countries has to be achieved “in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies”. Yet...

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 •  February 14

Liberia has announced it is to receive doses of an experimental Ebola drug and give it to two sick doctors, making them the first Africans to receive some of the scarce treatment in a spiralling outbreak. The US government confirmed that it had put Liberian officials in touch with the maker of ZMapp and referred additional questions to the...