3 Dutch babies die after pneumococcal vaccine, Dutch authorities pull Pfizer’s Prevenar batch

Vaccine use halted after baby deaths

prevenar

The Dutch health institute RIVM has stopped the distribution of a batch of Pfizer’s Prevnar childhood vaccine following the death of three babies shortly after being vaccinated.

The vaccine has been labeled ‘do not use’ and and new supplies have been made available to doctors.

The exact cause of the death of the infants is not yet known, the RIVM said. The babies died between one and 11 days after the vaccination.

Read more3 Dutch babies die after pneumococcal vaccine, Dutch authorities pull Pfizer’s Prevenar batch

US Pharmaceutical Factories Dumping Huge Quantities of Drugs Into Public Sewers, Rivers and Waterways

(NaturalNews) In spite of claims by pharmaceutical companies that they do not discharge their products into the water supply, federal researchers have discovered that waters downstream of pharmaceutical plants are more heavily contaminated with drug residue than waters elsewhere in the country.

In one study, conducted by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), researchers tested the water entering two water treatment plants down the sewer line of several pharmaceutical factories, as well as at other plants not receiving sewage from drug plants. Researchers discovered drugs at “much higher detection frequencies and concentrations” at the plants receiving effluent from pharmaceutical factories. Drugs detected included opiates, a barbiturate and a tranquilizer.

In a second study, researchers from the Environmental Protection Agency tested the water entering a wastewater treatment plant in the city of Kalamazoo, Mich., down the sewage line from a Pfizer drug factory. They found that the water entering the plant was exceptionally high in levels of the antibiotic lincomycin, which the factory was producing at that time.

“There’s some product going down the drain,” said Bruce Merchant, the city’s public services director.

Prior studies have shown that lincomycin can cause genetic mutations, and that it encourages the growth of cancer cells when combined with minute concentrations of a number of other drugs that are common in surface water.

Read moreUS Pharmaceutical Factories Dumping Huge Quantities of Drugs Into Public Sewers, Rivers and Waterways

Pfizer Agrees to a Record $2.3 Billion Criminal Fine in Fraud Probe

Pfizer’s general counsel said: “We regret certain actions taken in the past, but are proud of the action we’ve taken to strengthen our internal controls.” Source: BBC News

The only thing Big Pharma ‘regrets’ is getting caught.

Illegally promoting drugs for conditions that had not been approved by regulators is common practice in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Nigeria Issues Arrest Warrants for Top Pfizer Officials After Drug Experiments Conducted on Children



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Pfizer Inc. drugs, from right, the pain pill Lyrica, antibiotic Zyvox, and schizophrenia treatment Geodon are arranged for a photo at C.O. Bigelow Pharmacy in New York on Sep. 2, 2009. Photographer: JB Reed/Bloomberg

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) — Pfizer Inc. agreed to a $1.2 billion criminal fine, the largest in U.S. history, and a felony plea by a subsidiary to close an investigation into what government lawyers described as fraudulent marketing of drugs.

The fine, over sales practices for a painkiller since pulled from the market, makes up the biggest single share of a record $2.3 billion settlement, announced today, between the U.S. Justice Department and New York-based Pfizer. The deal includes $1 billion in civil penalties, the largest non-criminal fraud case against a drugmaker, the department said.

Pfizer, the world’s largest drugmaker, entered into a five- year integrity agreement with the Health and Human Services Department as well. The government pays for medicines through several health programs and joined the investigation after private whistleblowers filed lawsuits in three states. The criminal case revolved around allegations that the painkiller Bextra and three other medicines were promoted for uses other than those approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Read morePfizer Agrees to a Record $2.3 Billion Criminal Fine in Fraud Probe

A New Low in Drug Research: 21 Fabricated Studies

We’ve followed plenty of controversies around drug trials, from ghostwriting to keeping quiet about unflattering results. But the latest news is particularly eye-popping: A prominent Massachusetts anesthesiologist allegedly fabricated 21 medical studies involving major drugs. Yikes.

Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., has asked several anesthesiology journals to retract the studies, which appeared between 1996 and 2008, the WSJ reports. The hospital says its former chief of acute pain, Scott S. Reuben, faked data used in the studies.

Some of the studies reported favorable results from use of Pfizer’s Bextra and Merck’s Vioxx, both painkillers that have since been pulled from the market. Others offered good news about Pfizer’s pain drugs Lyrica and Celebrex and Wyeth’s antidepressant Effexor XR. Doctors said Reuben’s work was particularly influential in pain treatment and that they were shocked by the news.

“We are left with a large hole in our understanding of this field,” Steven Shafer, editor-in-chief of Anesthesia and Analgesia, told Anesthesiology News, which first reported on the retractions. “There are substantial tendrils from this body of work that reach throughout the discipline of postoperative pain management.”

Pfizer had funded some of Reuben’s research and had also paid him to speak on behalf of its medicines. “It is very disappointing to learn about Dr. Scott Reuben’s alleged actions,” Pfizer said in a statement to WSJ. “When we decided to support Dr. Reuben’s research, he worked for a credible academic medical center and appeared to be a reputable investigator.”

Read moreA New Low in Drug Research: 21 Fabricated Studies

Caterpillar, Sprint, Pfizer slash at least 72,500 jobs


Paul King, mine manager, inspects a Caterpillar Inc. haul truck at the Australian Bulk Minerals iron ore mine at Savage River in Tasmania, Australia, on Nov. 6, 2008. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg News

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) — Caterpillar Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Home Depot Inc. led companies today announcing at least 72,500 job cuts as sales withered and construction slowed amid a global economic recession that may persist through 2009.

The biggest layoffs were at Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar. The world’s largest maker of construction equipment said it’s cutting 20,000 jobs after fourth-quarter profit fell by almost a third.

Pfizer Inc., the New York-based drugmaker that’s acquiring competitor Wyeth for $68 billion, said it will close five factories and eliminate 19,000 jobs, or 15 percent, of the combined company’s workforce.

The firings came as American jobless claims hit a 26-year high, reaching 589,000 in the week ended Jan. 17, as shrinking demand for products and services forced companies to lower costs.

Read moreCaterpillar, Sprint, Pfizer slash at least 72,500 jobs

Global Economic Crisis Accelerating

UK jobless rise of 40000 in a week just ‘tip of the iceberg’ (Telegraph)

Schwarzenegger Says Deficit has ‘Incapacitated’ State (Bloomberg):
Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said California has been so “incapacitated” by a fiscal crisis that threatens to leave it unable to pay bills within weeks that the only issue he and lawmakers must consider is how to fix it.

Charter misses $74 mln in debt interest payments (Reuters):
NEW YORK, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Charter Communications, the fourth largest U.S. cable operator, said on Thursday it missed interest payments of $73.7 million as it continues to negotiate a debt restructuring with bondholders.
The company said it has until Feb. 15 to make the payment and avoid default, which could push it into bankruptcy.

ECB cuts rates by 50 points to 2% (Financial Times):
Eurozone interest rates fell by half a percentage point to their lowest in more than three years on Thursday as the European Central Bank said that it expected the recession to deepen and signalled that borrowing costs could fall further.
Jean-Claude Trichet, ECB president, warned that growth forecasts published only last month would have to be revised downwards in a sign of the ferocity of the downturn.

Pfizer May Fire 2,400, One-Third of U.S. Sales Force (Bloomberg):
Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) — Pfizer Inc., the world’s biggest drugmaker, may fire almost a third of its U.S. sales force, or as many as 2,400 workers, in a plan under consideration by senior management, people familiar with the discussions said.h the discussions said.

JPMorgan chief says 2009 will be bleak (Financial Times):
The US financial and economic crisis will worsen this year as hard-hit consumers default on credit cards and other loans, Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, has predicted in an interview with the Financial Times.

JPMorgan Profit Drops 76 Percent on Asset Writedowns (Bloomberg)

Yet another blow to the US newspaper industry (Guardian)

Aircraft industry shocked by view from ground (Financial Times)

Airbus forecasts ‘very challenging’ year (Financial Times):
Airbus on Thursday said its new commercial aircraft orders had fallen sharply last year, as the European aerospace group forecast “a very challenging year” for the industry in 2009. Net new orders fell by 42 per cent last year to 777, from a record 1,341 won in 2007.

Irish government fears IMF intervention (Guardian)

Ireland plans drastic cuts to prevent debt crisis (Telegraph):
Ireland is to demand pay cuts for civil servants and public employees to prevent the budget deficit soaring to 12pc of gross domestic product by next year – becoming the first country in the eurozone to resort to 1930s-style wage deflation to claw back competitiveness.

If anyone doubted scale of crisis, work even halts in Dubai on world’s tallest tower (Scotsman)

Hedge funds ‘encourage bankruptcies’ for profit (Guardian)

Spain’s Debt Costs Rise at Bond Sale After S&P Alert (Bloomberg)

Banks gird for commercial property collapse (FinancialWeek):
Some of the biggest financial institutions have huge, potentially troublesome commercial real estate stakes, Standard & Poors data shows. Based on information in their most recent financial reports, Citigroup and Barclays each had more than $20 billion worth of commercial mortgage-related investments. Merrill Lynch, acquired by Bank of America last year, had some $19.7 billion in such investments, according to S&P.

Nigeria Issues Arrest Warrants for Top Pfizer Officials After Drug Experiments Conducted on Children

(NaturalNews) A Nigerian state judge has issued arrest warrants for three top Pfizer officials, saying that they failed to appear in court to face charges of illegally conducting drug trials that led to the deaths of 11 children.

Read moreNigeria Issues Arrest Warrants for Top Pfizer Officials After Drug Experiments Conducted on Children