As Techdirt recently discussed, the drug pipeline is running dry, as Big Pharma’s patents are beginning to expire, and the drug companies are freaking out. For years they have been spending more money on research and testing and getting fewer results. This year alone they are going to have 11 patents expire on drugs that bring in approximately $50 billion in revenue to the big pharma firms. Of course, the flip side to this is that consumers can start saving about 95% on the price of those drugs, as generics hit the market. The drug companies have gotten to a point where the incremental increases in efficiencies are so small as to be meaningless. What is coming is more personalized and targeted treatments for diseases — treatments that do not require bulk production of a specific Read more…
The US Food and Drug Administration said it had placed an import alert on all milk, milk products, fresh vegetables and fruits from certain regions.
This means that no products of these types from the prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma can enter the United States without first being shown to be safe.
“In addition, FDA will continue to flag all entries from Japan in order to determine whether they originated from the affected area. FDA will test all food and feed shipments from the affected area,” an email statement said.
“FDA import investigators operating at ports of entry have radiation detection devices (radiation pagers) available to them for their personal safety,” the statement Read more…
In the span of just three years, we have seen drone surveillance become openly operational on American soil.
In 2007, Texas reporters first filmed a predator drone test being conducted by the local police department in tandem with Homeland Security. And in 2009, it was revealed that an operation was underway to use predator drones inland over major cities, far from “border control” functions. This year it has been announced that not only will drone operations fly over the Mexican border, but the United States and Canada are partnering to cover 900 miles of the northern border as well.
Now that the precedent has been set to employ drones over non-combat areas, the military is further revealing the technology of miniaturization that they currently have at their disposal. As drone expert, P.W. Singer said, “At this point, it doesn’t really matter if you are against the technology, because it’s coming.” According to Singer, “The miniaturization of drones is where it really gets interesting. You can use these things anywhere, put them anyplace, and the target will never even know they’re Read more…
Forbes magazine Editor in Chief Steve Forbes warns that the Food and Drug Administration’s foot-dragging on approving new antibiotics is leading to the “potential catastrophe” of a “bacterial apocalypse.”
The FDA has been making the approval of new drugs increasingly burdensome in recent years, Forbes — who was a Republican candidate for president in 1996 and 2000 — writes in a Forbes magazine editorial.
“The FDA’s behavior is no surprise to the organization’s watchers,” he says. “Approve a medication that has an unintended side effect and congressional headline-seekers will be giving officials the third degree. Better to let people die by depriving them of new medicines.”
As a result of the FDA’s foot-dragging, the pipeline for new antibiotics is drying up, according to Forbes.
Antibiotics have saved tens of millions of lives since the 1940s, but bacteria can become drug-resistant and new drugs are constantly needed to keep pace with new killer germs. But the flow of new antibiotics “has slowed to a trickle,” Forbes observes in the editorial headlined “How the FDA May Kill Millions of Us.”
One reason is that research is becoming more expensive, discouraging pharmaceutical companies from Read more…