Judge named in DuPont Teflon chemical case - EPA
USA: September 1, 2004
Source: Planet Ark

NEW YORK - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said a judge was appointed yesterday to oversee its Teflon-related case against DuPont Co. (DD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) that could result in millions of dollars in fines.

Administrative Law Judge Barbara Gunning will handle the case. Administrative law judges preside over agency disputes with outside parties, the EPA said.

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ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT VIOXX
Tuesday, August 31, 2004; Page HE02
Source: The Washington Post, DC

ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT VIOXX  . . . but not for the reasons Merck & Co. recommends. Last week  a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study found a link with heart attacks, and several large health insurers said they may restrict payments for the arthritis drug.

Some previous studies, but not all, have found a similar link between Vioxx and heart risk.  Another study, to be released this week by insurer Aetna Inc., is expected to come to similar conclusions.

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Big setback for Merck cholesterol drug
High doses of Zocor provide no benefits in preventing new problems in heart attack patients: study.
August 31, 2004: 6:31 AM EDT
Source: Money

MUNICH (Reuters) - Merck's anti-cholesterol drug Zocor suffered a setback after a major study found high doses of the drug showed no conclusive benefits in preventing fresh cardiac problems in heart attack patients.

The news is a blow for the U.S. pharmaceuticals giant in the $22-billion-a-year market for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and could play into the hands of Pfizer, (PFE: Research, Estimates) which makes top-seller Lipitor.

Results of the Merck-sponsored study were released at the European Society of Cardiology and published in the new issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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- Alan Yurko Web Site -

Man convicted of murder is free after judge rules that autopsy was flawed
BY ANTHONY COLAROSSI AND PAMELA J. JOHNSON
Posted on Sat, Aug. 28, 2004
Knight Ridder Newspapers

Source: KansasCity.com

ORLANDO, Fla. - (KRT) - Alan Yurko, sentenced to life in 1999 for shaking his baby son to death, was a free man Friday after a judge ruled a botched autopsy and other new evidence warranted a new trial.

Soon after Circuit Judge C. Alan Lawson's ruling, Yurko reached a deal with prosecutors: He pleaded no contest to manslaughter and was sentenced to the time already served - six years and 125 days.

Hours later, he was later released from the Orange County Jail into the arms of his wife and to the cheers of about 25 supporters, who have long maintained his innocence.

A broadly smiling Yurko emerged through the jail's glass doors shortly after 8 p.m. with a large white trash bag filled with legal papers and letters slung over one shoulder.

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19 Calif. Pharmacies Sue 15 Drug Makers
PAUL ELIAS
26/08/2004
Source: Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - Nineteen California pharmacies filed a state lawsuit Thursday accusing the world's largest pharmaceutical companies of conspiring to inflate U.S. drug prices.

The pharmacies accuse the 15 drug makers of illegally conspiring to charge inflated prices in the United States while barring pharmacies from buying the makers' drugs at lower prices outside the country.

"We are being charged higher prices than foreigners are being charged," said Joseph Alioto, representing the pharmacies. "If we are selling the same drug we want to pay the same prices as everyone else."

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Students make polluted water drinkable again
28/08/2004
Source: Daily Yomiuri On Line

Takehiro Kusujima Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer

Tsutomu Kawahira, 18, is one of the three students from Miyako Agricultural High School on Miyakojima island, Okinawa Prefecture, who recently received the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, beating out students from 26 other countries.

"I want to protect the nature of the island I've inherited from my grandparents and ancestors," he said.

With no rivers on the island, islanders have to rely on underground sources for drinking water.

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Man's HIV Diagnosis Turns Out Be Wrong
California Man's HIV Diagnosis Turns Out to Be Wrong Eight Years Later

The Associated Press, by ABC NEWS

SAN FRANCISCO Aug. 29, 2004 — A California man who once tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS has learned the diagnosis made eight years ago was mistaken and he never had the disease.

Jim Malone spent years battling depression and losing weight, expecting to die at any time. He attended support group meetings and accepted free meals from an AIDS charity.

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Doctors' body accuses drug firms of 'disease mongering' By Michael Day, Health Correspondent
(Filed: 29/08/2004)
Source: Telegraph

The Royal College of General Practitioners has accused drug companies of "disease-mongering" in order to boost sales.

The college, whose members include many of Britain's 37,000 GPs, says the pharmaceutical industry is taking the National Health Service to the brink of collapse by encouraging unnecessary prescribing of costly drugs.

In evidence to a parliamentary inquiry, the college accuses the companies of over-playing the dangers of conditions such as mild depression or slightly raised blood pressure.

Dr Maureen Baker, the college's honorary secretary, wants the Commons health inquiry to investigate the companies' practices.

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Company Is Investigating Possible Vaccine Problems in Brazil
By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN
Published: August 28, 2004
Source: New York Times

A day after the Chiron Corporation said it was delaying release of its influenza vaccine in this country because some lots were contaminated, the company confirmed that it was investigating possible problems with use of a different vaccine in Brazil.

Brazilian health officials stopped the use of Chiron's triple vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella, often referred to as MMR, after an unexpectedly high number of children who received it experienced serious allergic reactions in an immunization program last week. The reactions included rashes and anaphylactic shock, a potentially fatal allergic condition. There were no deaths reported.

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Public Demands West Nile Virus Vaccine
By Joseph Mercola by TechNewsWorld
08/26/04

Beyond economics, public health officials are feeling a sense of urgency. Though most who catch West Nile don't get sick, more than 400 people have died from it in the last five years. And there's no cure.

With news coverage about the West Nile Virus becoming much more commonplace, so is the drive to develop a vaccine. As th virus spreads to other parts of the United States, several drug companies have considered developing new medications

Although creating a West Nile vaccine may sound like a no-brainer, drug companies remain skeptical, especially since a similar drug for Lyme disease never took off and was eventually dropped due to low demand.
So some companies are moving ahead cautiously, waiting to see how the disease spreads before committing fully to a vaccine. The reason companies are monitoring West Nile: This vaccines potential market could exceed $300 million.

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