David Chance recuperates at Oregon Health and Science University.
Kristian Foden-Vencil /Oregon Public Broadcasting
June 23, 2014 Drugmakers offer medicines at a bargain price to hospitals that treat large numbers of poor patients. Hospitals sometimes resell the drugs at full price and make hefty profits.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/321230101/324906641" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Medicare has new power to police doctors whose prescribing patterns are out of whack.
May 20, 2014 Medicare gives itself the power to ban doctors if they prescribe medications in abusive ways. The action follows a ProPublica series that found inappropriate prescribing, waste and fraud.
May 16, 2014 The Food and Drug Administration's approval of a new drug for leishmaniasis came with a voucher that can be redeemed to speed up the approval of a much more lucrative drug in the future.
May 12, 2014 Once a drug is approved by the FDA, doctors can use it as they see fit. That can be brilliant or risky, depending on the medication and the patient.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/307747891/311760034" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
May 6, 2014 German drug company Bayer makes a deal with U.S.-based Merck & Co. The purchase includes brands such as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl's.
For now, Pfizer's world headquarters remains in New York. But a deal for AstraZeneca could turn Pfizer British.
April 28, 2014 Pfizer, founded in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1849, would become a British company by combining with AstraZeneca. The new company would get a much lower tax rate by moving its legal headquarters overseas.
Sovaldi, a daily oral treatment for hepatitis C, costs $1,000 a pill.
Courtesy of Gilead Sciences
April 23, 2014 Sovaldi has been found to be remarkably effective in curing most patients with common forms of hepatitis C in a matter of months. But the clinical success comes at a high price.
I'm not trying to lead you astray. It's just that scientists are not skeptical enough about their mouse studies.
April 8, 2014 New drugs are usually tested in animals before they're tested in humans. But many of those studies aren't done carefully enough, analysts say. So time and money is wasted, and treatments are delayed.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/298335701/300477972" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Could this be the end of grass and gesundheit?
April 3, 2014 Allergy shots work, but they're inconvenient and painful. Now there are pills that can help people tolerate grass pollen. But allergies are rarely limited to grass alone.
Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, says that better control of infectious diseases in Africa is allowing chronic diseases to come to the surface.
March 31, 2014 As infectious diseases come under control in Africa, other illnesses common in the West are becoming problems. GlaxoSmithKline is opening a research lab to promote research by African scientists.
March 30, 2014 Medicine's shift from paper to computers has been painful and expensive. But now doctors can easily write and transmit prescriptions by computer, saving money and improving the quality of care.
The package for the weight-loss drug alli should look like this.
Courtesy of GlaxoSmithKline
March 26, 2014 The bottles that appear to have been tampered with contained tablets and capsules in various shapes and colors, rather than the turquoise capsule used for the over-the-counter medication alli.
If new guidelines are followed fully, half the medicine chests in America could eventually be stocked with cholesterol-lowering drugs such as atorvastatin, the generic form of Lipitor.
March 20, 2014 New advice to reduce heart attacks and strokes could more than double the number of Americans taking cholesterol-lowering statins to 56 million. The expansion could cost as much as $7 billion a year.
March 12, 2014 Private insurers, as well as those serving Medicaid patients, are wrestling with how to cover the new drugs. Many say they will require prior approval and may be limited to the sickest patients.
Now that Eli Lilly & Co.'s antidepressant Cymbalta and some other blockbusters have gone generic, the company is spending less on promotional activities by doctors.
March 4, 2014 The sharp decline in payments coincides with increased scrutiny of drug marketing. Later this year, federal law will also require that drugmakers disclose the amount of money they give to doctors.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/285298999/285581493" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor