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Exclusive: Biogen prices hemophilia drug on par with older therapies

By Bill Berkrot (Reuters) - Biogen Idec Inc is pricing its newly approved long-acting hemophilia drug, Alprolix, to cost U.S. patients, and insurers, about the same per year as older, less convenient therapies whose price can reach about $300,000 annually. The move could pressure rivals such as Pfizer Inc to lower prices for existing hemophilia treatments, which provide patients with life-saving infusions of a blood clotting agent, according to doctors and industry analysts.

New kind of trial aims to speed cancer drug development

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists and drugmakers are pioneering a new kind of clinical trial that changes the way cancer drugs are studied, potentially cutting both the time and cost of bringing them to market. Instead of testing one drug at a time, a novel lung cancer study announced on Thursday will allow British researchers to test up to 14 drugs from AstraZeneca and Pfizer at the same time within one trial.

US Coast Guard seize $110 million worth of cocaine

The US Coast Guard said Tuesday it had seized an estimated $110 million worth of cocaine during two recent operations in the Caribbean. The combined bust of 3,300 kilos (3.63 tons) is "one of the largest in a long time," Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney told AFP. The first seizure occurred south of Jamaica on March 15, where the Coast Guard found about 97 bales containing some 2,400 kilos of cocaine floating near a fishing boat suspected of smuggling drugs. The estimated wholesale value of the find is $80 million.

Federal judge blocks Massachusetts from banning new painkiller Zohydro

BOSTON - A federal judge has blocked Massachusetts from banning the powerful new painkiller Zohydro. U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction after the maker of the drug, Zogenix, argued in a lawsuit that the ban ordered by Gov. Deval Patrick last month is unconstitutional.

U.S. court reverses Massachusetts ban on Zogenix pain drug

By Susan Kelly and Natalie Grover (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court judge on Tuesday stopped Massachusetts from implementing a ban on the sale of Zogenix Inc's prescription painkiller Zohydro, saying federal law superseded the state's action. The company's shares climbed about 9 percent to $2.54 in after-hours trading. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick had announced a ban on the drug, formally declaring a public health emergency on March 27 stemming from abuse of opioids in the New England state.

Johnson & Johnson's Q1 profit rises 8 pct on lower spending, surge in prescription drug sales

A turnaround in Johnson The world's biggest maker of health care products beat Wall Street expectations and raised its earnings outlook Tuesday. The maker of Band-Aids and biologic drugs said net income was $4.73 billion, or $1.64 per share, up from $3.5 billion, or $1.22 per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, income was $4.43 billion, or $1.54 per share. Analysts expected $1.48. The New Brunswick, N.J., company said revenue totalled $18.12 billion, up 3.5 per cent. Analysts expected $18.04 billion.

Indian voters lured by cash handouts, drugs, bootleg liquor

By Sanjeev Miglani NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian election officials have seized a record $36 million dollars of cash concealed in cars, private planes and even ambulances that they say was destined to buy off voters and pay for expenses over and above the spending limit.

EXCLUSIVE: Over 60% of female inmates on psychiatric meds; probe launched

TORONTO - Canada's prison watchdog has launched an investigation into the prescribing practices in federal prisons, after it was revealed that more than 60 per cent of female inmates across the country are receiving psychiatric medication. A joint investigation by The Canadian Press and CBC has learned that in August 2013, of 591 female federal inmates in five correctional institutions, 370 were being prescribed at least one psychotropic medication, drugs that impact mood and behaviour.

Powerful psychotropic drug used in Canada's federal prisons

TORONTO - Canada's prison watchdog has launched an investigation into the prescribing practices of Correctional Service Canada after it was revealed that more than 60 per cent of female inmates across the country are receiving psychiatric medications. Former inmates and prisoner advocates allege that among the drugs being prescribed by prison physicians is Seroquel — a powerful antidepressant they claim is being used as a sleeping pill. Seroquel has been available in Canada since 1998 and is approved by Health Canada for use in adults with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Quotes about rate of psychiatric meds prescribed to federal women prisoners

Canada's prison watchdog has launched an investigation into the prescription of psychiatric drugs in federal prisons after learning that more than 60 per cent of female inmates are receiving drugs for mental health illnesses. Here are some quotes:
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