Pharmaceutical Industry and Drugs

Swarms of Drug Industry Lobbyists and Campaign Cash Stymie Bid to Restrain Medicare Prescription Costs FairWarining Investigates

Swarms of Drug Industry Lobbyists and Campaign Cash Stymie Bid to Restrain Medicare Prescription Costs

See the editor’s note at the bottom of this story. When the Republican-controlled Congress approved a landmark program in 2003 to help seniors buy prescription drugs, it slapped on an unusual restriction: The federal government was barred from negotiating cheaper prices for those medicines. Instead, the job of holding down costs was outsourced to the…

Drug Companies Pony Up in Illegal Marketing Cases, But Critics Wonder if Penalties are Enough FairWarining Reports

Drug Companies Pony Up in Illegal Marketing Cases, But Critics Wonder if Penalties are Enough

If you make truck deliveries in the overcrowded downtown streets of a big city, parking tickets might simply be a cost of doing business. For top drug companies, critics say, there’s an equivalent expense — the billions of dollars paid out to settle criminal and civil charges of illegal marketing practices, Medicaid overcharges and kickbacks….

Another Big Defeat for Johnson & Johnson in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case FairWarining Reports

Another Big Defeat for Johnson & Johnson in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case

Johnson & Johnson suffered a second straight legal defeat in defense of its signature talc products on Monday when it was ordered to pay $55 million in damages to a woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on the use of Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene. After about 10 hours of deliberations, a state court…

Johnson & Johnson Dealt $72 Million Courtroom Loss in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case FairWarining Reports

Johnson & Johnson Dealt $72 Million Courtroom Loss in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case

Johnson & Johnson has suffered a major courtroom defeat in the first in a wave of lawsuits claiming that talc products marketed by the company for feminine hygiene use caused ovarian cancer. A jury in St. Louis late Monday night ordered the health care products giant to pay $72 million in compensatory and punitive damages…

California Measure Takes Aim at Use of Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock FairWarining Reports

California Measure Takes Aim at Use of Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock

See update at bottom of story. With the threat of antibiotic-resistant germs on the rise, California Gov. Jerry Brown is poised to sign tough restrictions on administering antibiotics to livestock. Some public health experts contend that the overuse of antibiotics in cattle, pigs and other farm animals has contributed to the worldwide spread of bacteria…

asbestos mine FairWarining Investigates

The Hard Truth About the Softest Mineral

Tougher Testing Sought to Detect Asbestos in Talc

We use talc in many up close and personal ways: to powder babies’ bottoms, as an ingredient in cosmetics, a filler in capsules and pills–even as a food additive. In a world of ominous, unpronounceable chemicals, could anything be less scary than talc? Yet talc, the softest known mineral, is dug from the ground, where…

Marsha Dau FairWarining Investigates

Jailhouse Medicine

A Private Contractor Flourishes Despite Controversy Over Inmate Deaths

In July 2011, a jailhouse nurse in Imperial County, Calif., found inmate Marsha Dau lying naked and dazed on the concrete floor. Charged with illegally transporting aliens, Dau, 58, recently had been exhibiting strange and aggressive behavior. For her own safety, the jail put her in an empty, beige cell with no clothes. Now, three…

Colgate-Palmolive Suffers Courtroom Loss in Asbestos-Talc Powder Case FairWarining Reports

Colgate-Palmolive Suffers Courtroom Loss in Asbestos-Talc Powder Case

Colgate-Palmolive Co. was ordered to pay $12.4 million in damages to a woman with a deadly form of cancer after a Los Angeles jury found that an asbestos-contaminated talcum powder was the main cause of her disease. The case was then settled today for an undisclosed amount as jurors were about to consider tacking on…

Talc-Ovarian Cancer Link Sparks Growing Legal Battle FairWarining Investigates

Talc-Ovarian Cancer Link Sparks Growing Legal Battle

Deane Berg’s doctor called her in the day after Christmas, 2006, to give her the crushing news. She’d had her ovaries removed, the pathology results were back, and they could not have been much worse. Berg had stage III ovarian cancer, and her prognosis was poor. Despite her 25 years as a physician’s assistant, Berg, then 49, knew next to nothing about ovarian cancer. Grappling with the “why me?” question, she studied the risk factors […]