Daily Archives: November 21, 2011

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Gardasil marketing: putting the profit cart before the proof horse?

On first glance, a  study published by drug manufacturer Merck & Co., in the New England Journal of Medicine appears to declare the Gardasil vaccine a resounding success. The pharmaceutical giant points to numbers that show its cervical cancer vaccine has an unbelievable 98 percent efficacy rate. On closer examination, however, perhaps unbelievable is the right word. The study was published in May 2007, about one year after Gardasil was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug was approved for girls and young women, as protection against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, a sexually-transmitted virus linked to ... Read More

California utility company settles with victims of deadly helicopter crash

The families of three California Fish and Game employees who were killed last year when their helicopter struck a power line and crashed have reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum with Southern California Edison, the owner of the power line. According to the Fresno Bee, Thursday’s agreement follows an earlier settlement between the victims’ families and Landells Aviation of Desert Hot Springs, Calif., the helicopter’s owner, for $10 million. All three men were from Fresno. The family of the helicopter pilot, a resident of Palm Springs who was also killed in the crash, settled with Southern California Edison on ... Read More

Metal-on-metal hip devices lose support within the medical community

Metal-on-metal hip implants have lost key support within the medical community after the California Technology Assessment Forum reversed the position it had adopted a year earlier supporting the hip resurfacing technique, a hip replacement option that uses metal-on-metal hip devices. The CTAF report was based on data from joint registries in England and Australia that found extremely high premature failure rates for some hip implant devices, such as DePuy’s all-metal ASR Hip Resurfacing System and ASR XL Acetabular system. The hip resurfacing technique is offered as an alternative to traditional total hip replacement. The procedure consists of fitting the head ... Read More

Federal prosecutors want to keep BP on the hook for Alaska environmental crimes

BP is a repeat offender of environmental laws on Alaska’s oil-rich North Slope, and its probation from a negligent oil spill in 2007 should not be revoked, federal prosecutors say. The oil giant is currently lobbying for an end to its probation, put in place after a 2006 oil spill that flooded the Alaskan tundra with 200,000 gallons of North Slope crude – the largest spill ever in Alaska’s oil patch. Prosecutors will make their case in a four-day hearing in Anchorage starting November 29. According to the Anchorage Daily News, the prosecutors will present evidence that the BP Exploration ... Read More