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Drugmakers credit Androgel and Testim for first-quarter profit surge

The market for testosterone replacement drugs is booming, with no signs of easing in the future, market analysts say. Abbott Laboratories, the maker of Androgel 1.62% and Androgel 1% and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, which makes Testim 1%, are aggressively marketing their testosterone drugs to millions of men in the U.S. with low testosterone levels, and those efforts are paying off. Sales of testosterone replacement drugs hit $1.6 billion in 2011, up 133 percent in just four years. According to data compiled by Bloomberg analysts, 5.6 million prescriptions were written for testosterone replacement therapies last year and sales are expected to triple ... Read More

NJ doctor may lose license for inappropriate testosterone replacement and painkiller prescriptions

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has moved to suspend the medical license of a doctor who, investigators allege, indiscriminately prescribed potent testosterone replacement drugs such as Androgel in addition to powerful prescription pain medications, including OxyContin and Roxicodone when they weren’t appropriate and necessary for patients to take. According to Newark’s Star-Ledger, Dr. Roger Lallemand Jr. wrote thousands of such prescriptions for patients visiting the three offices he maintained in Old Bridge and Asbury Park, New Jersey. The doctor told one patient, an undercover investigator with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, that he offered testosterone drugs to all of ... Read More

Former Actos patient sues Takeda over bladder cancer injuries

A West Virginia man is the latest person to file a lawsuit against Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company over injuries he alleges were caused by taking the diabetes drug Actos for years. According to the Consumer Justice Foundation, the plaintiff, Donald Shingleton, began taking Actos in 2005 to treat his type 2 diabetes. After years of controlling his body’s insulin levels with Actos, however, Mr. Shingleton developed bladder cancer. He now seeks damages for his injuries and the emotional distress he says he has endured as a result of taking the drug. Mr. Shingleton filed his lawsuit April 25 in U.S. ... Read More

Appeals judges side with Big Pharma in Androgel case

A U.S. appeals court in Atlanta sided with Big Pharma in an April ruling, allowing “pay-for-delay” arrangements between brand-name and generic drug manufacturers. At the center of this ruling was the testosterone drug Androgel, a blockbuster drug made by Brussels-based Solvay (now Abbott Pharmaceuticals) that brought in $594 million in 2010 and promises explosive growth in the future as more and more men turn to it for its sexually restorative effects. Solvay was originally granted a 17-year patent in 2003, which barred other drugmakers from developing a generic version of the topical gel until 2015. However, three drug companies challenged ... Read More

Takeda’s new diabetes drug fails to clear FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has again rejected a new diabetes drug called alogiptin made by Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals, saying the company needs to provide more information about the drug’s performance in other countries. The setback could deal a significant financial blow to Takeda, the largest pharmaceutical company in Asia, as its beleaguered drug Actos, used to treat type 2 diabetes, loses its patent protection later this summer. Takeda has been poising alogiptin to replace Actos as its next widely prescribed blockbuster drug. FDA regulators originally rejected Takeda’s alogiptin in 2009 on the basis that not enough information ... Read More

Testosterone drug use building to an epidemic of health problems, doctors fear

AndroGel, Testim and other topical testosterone gel products were designed to restore healthy levels of functioning in men suffering from diminished bone and muscle mass, depression, weakened libido and other symptoms associated with low testosterone levels, or “Low T”. But now doctors are worried the testosterone drugs – coveted by many men for their sexual enhancement properties — are quickly creating another hormone-replacement health crisis in the United States. Bloomberg reports that AndroGel manufacturer Abbott Laboratories and other drug companies making and marketing testosterone drugs are offering to help some 14 million American men whose testosterone levels may be lower ... Read More

Gardasil risks, public outcry cause Gardasil mandates to lose steam

In 2007, Virginia became the first state in the nation to mandate the Gardasil vaccine for girls entering the sixth grade. It was a reckless move by the state legislature – a $1-million effort financed by taxpayer money and fueled by the pharmaceutical lobby that did nothing but turn the 11-year old girls of that state into guinea pigs. Fortunately, Virginia’s House of Delegates voted 62-34 to rescind the law earlier this month, and other would-be Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine mandates are losing traction in areas such as Washington D.C., Florida, and Texas, where they had become hotly contested political ... Read More

Gardasil injures and kills many, but no recall

Washington Examiner opinion editor Barbara Hollingsworth raises an interesting question about Merck’s cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil: If 52 deaths linked to sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles prompted massive, multi-billion-dollar recalls, then why is Gardasil still administered to thousands of school-age girls when it has been linked to 49 deaths in a briefer time span? It’s a rhetorical question, but it makes you wonder if it’s somehow more permissible to be killed or injured by a drug than it is by a defective automobile. Merck has lobbied federal regulators hard to make Gardasil mandatory for all American schoolgirls. Fortunately, the ... Read More

January is cervical cancer awareness month

Women considering receiving the Gardasil vaccine for themselves or their daughters  may encounter a lot of confusing, sometimes contradictory information and sweeping generalizations. Because January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month, more women and girls may be seeking information about human papillomavirus (HPV), Gardasil, and the more recently approved vaccine Cervarix, which makes it even more important that truth about the vaccine be known. First, the vaccines are known to have serious risks. The threat of blood clots, seizure, paralysis, outbreak of warts, and sudden death has been documented in thousands of adverse event reports obtained by Judicial Watch under Freedom of ... Read More

CDC drops Gardasil from list of must-have vaccines for immigants

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently rescinded its controversial and, some argued, discriminatory requirement that all girls and women ages 11 to 26 immigrating to the United States receive at least one injection of Gardasil, Merck’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The directive went into effect in July of last year, mandating Gardasil shots for immigrant females despite mounting evidence that the shots could cause serious injury and death. The shots were also required of females who posed no risk of contracting or spreading HPV to the wider population. In determining which vaccines immigrants are required to have, the ... Read More