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Monday, Dec 22nd

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Former Winston Cigarettes Pitchman Dies of Throat Cancer

Alan Landers, 68, a model who posed for Winston cigarette ads in the 1960s and 1970s, has died of while undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

While some of his celebrity came from appearing in ads, still more came from his legal battles with R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco companies. Landers, born Allan Levine, claim that being forced to smoke for the ads caused his health problems. His case was scheduled for trial in April.

Alan Landers had already survived two bouts of lung cancer, and was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for the aforementioned throat cancer. As if that wasn't enough, he also suffered from emphysema.

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US Supreme Court: FDA-approved labels no legal shield

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the drugmaker Wyeth (WYE.N) on Wednesday, holding that pharmaceutical companies can be held liable for harm from medicines that carry warnings approved by federal regulators.

By a 6-to-3 vote in a major defeat for the pharmaceutical industry, the high court ruled that U.S. Food and Drug Administration labeling approvals do not pre-empt state laws and shield companies from damages as part of liability claims.

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Study finds universal health care would cost less than bailouts

The biggest obstacle to an enhanced national health care system wouldn't be money, a study conducted by the Institute for Health and Socio-economic Policy found. The transformation of America's current health care system into a single-payer 'Medicare for all' system could cost six times less than the bank bailouts.

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Supreme Court turns down Agent Orange cases

The Supreme Court has turned down American and Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange who wanted to pursue lawsuits against companies that made the toxic chemical defoliant used in the Vietnam War.

The justices offer no comment on their action Monday, rejecting appeals in three separate cases, in favor of Dow Chemical, Monsanto and other companies that made Agent Orange and other herbicides used by the military in Vietnam.

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AstraZeneca Suppressed Information about Seroquel Link to Diabetes, Told Sales Reps to Lie

Drug maker AstraZeneca, seller of the Seroquel antipsychotic drug, suppressed clinical studies showing its drug significantly increased the risk of diabetes, say internal e-mails.

As Bloomberg is reporting today, employee emails that were unsealed as part of a lawsuit reveal AstraZeneca deliberately hid at least three studies that established a significant link between its Seroquel drug and the onset of diabetes in patients. This fact was blatantly admitted in a 1999 e-mail sent by an AstraZeneca official.

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Landmark Policy Report: Many Cancers Could Be Prevented Across the Globe

A new global policy report estimates that approximately 37 percent of colon cancer cases and 28 percent of breast cancer cases in Brazil and other middle-income countries in South America are preventable through diet, physical activity and weight maintenance. The report also sets out recommendations for policies to reduce the global number of cancer cases.

The overall message of the report, Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention, published today by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), is that all sections of society need to make public health, and cancer prevention in particular, a higher priority.
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FDA ignored debris in syringes

Months before an Angier company shipped deadly bacteria-tainted drugs, the federal Food and Drug Administration received numerous complaints about sediment and debris in the medicine.

The FDA received reports about AM2PAT as early as 2005, but not until December 2007 did the agency issue recall notices to pull the drugs off the market.

Two men pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this week for their roles in the scheme, which involved falsifying documents to make it appear that proper sterility tests had been conducted. The company’s president, Dushyant Patel, faces 10 charges, but he has not been arrested.

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