Monthly Archives: January 2007

Straight Talk from Bishop Gumbleton

Bishop Gumbleton, retired Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and recently ousted pastor of St. Leo parish in Detoit, told his parishioners this past Sunday why he thinks he was removed from the parish. “I’m sure,” he said, “that it’s because of the openness with which I spoke out last January concerning victims of sex abuse in the church.” Gumbleton is not new to controversy or problems with the church hierarchy. He has advocated on behalf of the poor, peace advocates, and social justice.

Genentech Drug Lucentis Linked to Strokes in Elderly

Genentech Inc. has issued a warning to eye specialists that its drug Lucentis has been found to increase the risk of strokes in patients taking the drug for age-relate blindness. Lucentis, manufactured by Genentech, has been prescribed for age-related macular degeneraton, a condition affecting approximately 1.4 million Americans. Lucentis had been marketed as specifically for eye treatment and safer than its parent compound Avastin.

State Governments Investigating Zyprexa Marketing Tactics

Several states including Vermont are investigating claims that Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of the anti-psychotic drug, Zyprexa, marketed the drug for uses not approved by the government. Eli Lilly has settled numerous product liability lawsuits concerning Zyprexa. Zyprexa has been on the market since 1996 and the recent controversy surrounds allegations that Eli Lilly knew that a link existed between diabetes and Zyprexa and the company suppressed the information.

Amgen’s Aranesp Carrries With it Risk of Death

Aranesp, the anemia drug used to treat certain cancer patients, carries with it a serious risk of death. Johnson & Johnson manufactures a similar drug Procrit. The latest trial was an attempt by Amgen to expand the use of Aranesp to a new group of patients: those with anemia presumably caused by their cancer. Aranesp is now approved to treat anemia caused by cancer chemotherapy but not by the cancer itself.
The 1,000 patients in the trial had active cancer, meaning they were not in remission, but were not getting chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The goal of the trial was to see if Aranesp could reduce the need for blood transfusions, which anemic people frequently require.
The company found that the drug did not reduce the need for transfusions compared with a placebo, but did increase the number of deaths by the end of 16 weeks by a statistically significant amount.