brands under fire
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 10, 2013 12:55 PM
It's been three weeks since investigative journalists at ProPublica published a long profile of the severe potential danger in overusing the pain reliever acetaminophen. The report's most damaging allegations were not that 150 people a year die from acetaminophen but that safety agencies and manufacturers—especially household acetaminophen brand Tylenol—knew how dangerous the drug was and did little to warm users.
ProPublica's several stories, which make claims like, "[Tylenol maker] McNeil opposed even a modest government campaign to educate the public about acetaminophen’s risks, in part because it would harm Tylenol sales," are pretty damning for the brand, but the government agencies that oversee such operations don't make it out unscathed either. "Over more than 30 years, the FDA has delayed or failed to adopt measures designed to reduce deaths and injuries from acetaminophen. The agency began a comprehensive review to set safety rules for acetaminophen in the 1970s, but still has not finished," another report says.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 7, 2013 11:40 AM
It hasn’t been a great couple of years for Johnson & Johnson. Since 2009, “faulty manufacturing” caused J&J to “recall millions of bottles and packages of Tylenol, Benadryl, Motrin and other over-the-counter medicines,” NBC News reports. While that was happening, pharmacies were starting to push their own private labels.
It got so bad that this past winter, CVS didn’t even stock Tylenol at a number of its stores. That isn't all. The company is facing over 10,000 lawsuits regarding the alleged failure of its Depuy metal-on-metal hip transplants, and it just got done paying $181 million in settlements over off-label marketing of its antipsychotic drug, Risperdal, Ad Age notes.
As Mad Men’s Don Draper says, if you don’t like what people are saying, you change the conversation. So J&J is going all-in on a rebrand, putting up to $30 million into a play-to-the-heartstrings Band-Aid of a campaign called “For All You Love.”Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on March 24, 2013 01:02 PM
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg unveils $12 million ad campaign (above) for Mayors Against Illegal Guns that lobbies for background checks to reduce gun violence, while NYC's municipal data geek squad makes headlines.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz defends same-sex marriage support to shareholders as brand expands loyalty rewards to other retailers.
PepsiCo shares jump on Mondelez merger speculation sparked by Telegraph story which Pepsi "downplays."
Apple acquires indoor GPS startup WiFiSLAM for mapping, patents iPhone drop protection technology and faces EU scrutiny following iPhone and iPad distribution complaints — and may report first quarterly dip since 2003.
FTC "pay for delay" generic drug case, set to go before US Supreme Court on Monday, will be closely watched by pharmaceutical industry and economists.
Below: BlackBerry, Blockbuster, Dell, Diageo and other brands in the news —Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on January 31, 2013 02:22 PM
"That's the one thing you don't do. You don't tell her you took Viagra. I'm pretty sure that's on the warning label."
So went the viagra joke in 2012's feel-good comedy about middle age, This is 40. But jokes about recreational use of the blue ED pill were not the only pharma brand mention in film recently. A new position paper from the mental health watchdog group Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) asks: "Has the motion picture industry become the newest outlet for pharmaceutical product advertising?"
To make its case, the CCHR points to the critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated film about mental illness, Silver Linings Playbook.Continue reading...
in it to win it
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2012 02:02 PM
Young Emily Whitehead, who turned 7 in May, was saved from near death from leukemia after relapsing twice after chemotherapy – and with all viable options running out. In desperation, her parents sought experimental treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, using a disabled form of the virus that causes AIDS to reprogram her immune system genetically to kill cancer cells.
“She is the first child and one of the first humans ever in whom new techniques have achieved a long-sought goal — giving a patient’s own immune system the lasting ability to fight cancer,” reports The New York Times.
The treatment, developed at the University of Pennsylvania, the Times noted in a separate story, “may signify a turning point in the long struggle to develop effective gene therapies against cancer. And not just for leukemia patients: other cancers may also be vulnerable to this novel approach — which employs a disabled form of H.I.V.-1, the virus that causes AIDS, to carry cancer-fighting genes into the patients’ T-cells. In essence, the team is using gene therapy to accomplish something that researchers have hoped to do for decades: train a person’s own immune system to kill cancer cells.”
“Our goal is to have a cure, but we can’t say that word,” said Dr. Carl June, lead of the U Penn research team, echoed by his colleague, Dr. John Wagner, director of pediatric blood and marrow transplantation at the University of Minnesota, who said the Pennsylvania results were “phenomenal” and “what we’ve all been working and hoping for but not seeing to this extent. I think this is a major breakthrough.”
Cue Novartis, which has committed $20 million to building a research center on the university’s campus to ready the treatment for public consumption. In August 2012, Novartis acquired exclusive rights from Penn to CART–19, the therapy now known as CTL019. Unlike trials for commercial development of drugs like Viagra or cholesterol meds where millions consume the same drugs, Emma’s treatment requires a new batch of T-cells for each patient.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 10, 2012 06:04 PM
Merck chairman and CEO Kenneth C. Frazier was honored in June with the “Good Scout” Award by Philadelphia’s Cradle of Liberty Boy Scout Council. Frazier grew up in North Philadelphia and credits scouting as instrumental in his life. Now Frazier, the first African American to head a major pharmaceutical company, is turning his back on the organization until it reverses its discriminatory policies.
Now Frazier and Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, have joined the growing wave of corporate leaders taking a stand against discrimination towards gay scouts and leaders in the Boy Scouts of America.
As GLAAD notes of the corporate backlash to the Boy Scouts' anti-LGBT stance, Merck joins Intel and UPS with the following statement: “The BSA's policy of exclusion based on sexual orientation directly conflicts with the Merck Foundation’s giving guidelines. The Foundation re-evaluated funding for the BSA when the organization restated its policy that excludes members on the basis of sexual orientation. Merck Foundation has notified the BSA of this decision.”
Boy Scouts of America director of public relations, Deron Smith, provided the following statement to brandchannel: “Scouting believes that good people can personally disagree on this topic and still work together to accomplish the common good. While not national sponsors, these companies have positively impacted America’s youth through support of Scouting in local communities. We respect their right to express their own opinions.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 26, 2012 02:23 PM
Chef Paula Deen found herself as the target of plenty of criticism earlier this year when she outed herself as a diabetic after having pushed the mega buttery and highly caloric food via her Food Channel show. Her three-year secret didn’t just slip out, of course. It instead came as she announced that she was the news spokesperson for diabetes-drug maker Novo Nordisk.
She told Al Roker when the news came out that she wasn’t going to change the way she cooks, but she’s apparently changed her mind about that since she and her two sons have teamed up with Novo to create and promote the website Diabetes in a New Light, which provides recipes and tips to help adults with Type-2 Diabetes. “You know, I still enjoy my favorite holiday foods, but I've changed the way my plate looks,” Deen told the Philadelphia Sun. “I've been doublin' up on my greens and cutting back on the sodium and carbs. I've also added some of the diabetes-friendly recipes that we've made for Diabetes in a New Light to my holiday menu, and now my whole family will enjoy them too!”
Not into celeb chefs? No problem, Novo is covering its spokesperson bases. The Danish pharma company has just signed hip-hop demigod Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, the cofounder of Run-DMC.Continue reading...
long arm of the law
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2012 03:07 PM
According to an announcement by the U.S. Justice Department, "Global health care giant GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) agreed to plead guilty and to pay $3 billion to resolve its criminal and civil liability arising from the company’s unlawful promotion of certain prescription drugs, its failure to report certain safety data, and its civil liability for alleged false price reporting practices, the Justice Department announced today. The resolution is the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history and the largest payment ever by a drug company."
"Today’s multi-billion dollar settlement is unprecedented in both size and scope. It underscores this Administration’s firm commitment to protecting the American people and holding accountable those who commit health care fraud," stated U.S. Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole at a press conference today on the settlement. "Health care fraud is an epidemic that touches every aspect of our lives. And yet, for far too long, we have heard that the pharmaceutical industry views these settlements merely as the cost of doing business. That is why this Administration is committed to using every available tool to defeat health care fraud," added his colleague, Acting Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery.
GSK stated that the charges stem from a "different era" for the company, and its corporate mission now centers on "putting patients first, acting transparently, respecting people inside and outside the organisation and displaying integrity in everything we do."Continue reading...