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Pharmaceutical companies use big spending, deceptive tactics to market risky drugs, report says

In an over 3,400 word article, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (8/7, Fauber, 10.31M) reports on how pharmaceutical companies market risky prescription drugs to physicians and patients with big spending and deceptive tactics. For example, “in 2014, Pfizer paid for a study of its rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz [tofacitinib],” in which its drug “came out on top,” but the study did not include “the treatment experts consider the most effective.” Meanwhile, back in 2012, AbbVie started a program “that paid nurses around the country to make home visits to patients who had been prescribed Humira [adalimumab],” and “the nurses were instructed not to mention the risks of the drug, which include potentially deadly infections, according to a lawsuit filed by California regulators.” The piece adds that “of the 21 biologic drugs that have won FDA approval, 13 – 62% – have received the agency’s most stringent warning, known as a ‘black box.’”