- AHRP notes that the FDA review panel which will examine the risks associated with Merck's new COX-2 inhibitor, etoricoxib (Arcoxia), is stacked to find that the drug is safe. How? Well, as AHRP said:
The arthritis specialists who voted to keep the COX-2 inhibitors on the market were reappointed. But the four most vocal critics of the COX-2 pain killers were NOT to reappointed. FDA apparently wants to avoid a full examination of the safety issues when considering approval of Merck's Vioxx replacement drug.
- But the good news is that with the exception of one member (and who the hell was that one member?), Arcoxia got voted down by a 20-1 margin. GoozNews has a great post that mentions how the advisory committee decided getting fooled twice was not an option. David Graham, unsurprisingly stepped up the the plate yet again. Incredibly, Merck decided to compare Arcoxia to another drug that has an elevated risk of causing heart problems. And the IRB that approved that study was...? By comparing it to a risky drug, Merck could attempt to claim that Arcoxia didn't increase cardiovascular risk. That's like comparing a drug to getting hit by a sledgehammer. "Well, the drug was actually less risky than being brained with a large blunt object; therefore, it is clearly safe." Nice to see that the FDA didn't fall for it this time.
- Pharmalot also has a nice summary of the Arcoxia debacle.
- No surprise here -- Pharma Giles is guilty of causing me to nearly suffer the same fate as those who took the ill-fated drug Uleak due to my Def Comedy Jam type laughter at two of his recent posts. Here's the one on Uleak and here's one thinly disguised parody of the latest developments at AstraZeneca.
- Peter Rost received some information, allegedly from an Astra Zeneca insider, stating that they were tired of AZ's unethical practices, specifically referencing the marketing of Arimidex (anastrozole). Can Seroquel be far behind?
- I also give Dr. Rost credit for applying for positions in the drug industry. Read his hilarious (and accurate) cover letter.
- Philip Dawdy notes that yet another class action lawsuit has been filed against Lilly for its heavy pimping of Zyprexa.
- Seroxat Secrets points out another example of patient advocacy groups carrying Big Pharma's water. In this case, it appears that the Depression Alliance is participating in the marketing of Cymbalta. The Cymbalta Pimp-A-Thon continues.