PhRMA

Tell Me, Please

A US senator has sent letters to two biotech and pharmaceutical industry groups to ask about their approaches to handling sexual harassment, according to Stat News.

New membership rules by PhRMA governing R&D spending come as the industry tries to change its image as profiteers of sickness and disease. 

In an analysis of 10 drug companies, pharma consulting firm Diaceutics found that very few of them are prepared to break away from the traditional drug development model and launch personalized medicine products in the next decade.

John Castellani, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said that while the industry's commitment to using genomic strategies to advance targeted therapies is growing, the road ahead is fraught with scientific, regulatory, and reimbursement challenges.

A Supreme Court decision against drug developers in Sorrell v. IMS Health could potentially hamper how pharmacy benefit managers can use physician prescription data to drive adoption of pharmacogenomically guided products.

Industry observers have noted that the move from the outspoken Billy Tauzin, also known as the "Swamp Fox," to an insider business lobbyist-type like Castellani represents a shift in PhRMA's advocacy style. Where that leaves PhRMA's support for personalized medicine, a pet cause of Tauzin's, is hard to determine in the post-healthcare-reform climate in Washington.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has released the results of a genetic ancestry analysis, the Boston Globe reports.

Retraction Watch's Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus report that Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital have recommended that more than 30 papers from a former researcher be retracted.

Thomas Steitz, who won the 2009 chemistry Nobel Prize for his ribosome work, has died, the Washington Post reports.

In PLOS this week: mechanisms for genes implicated in coronary artery disease, rumen microbes and host genetics influence cow methane production, and more.