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Drug Company Merck Drew Up Doctor "Hit List" 281

Posted by kdawson
from the i'll-have-your-job-young-man dept.
Philip K Dickhead sends in a piece from the Australian media, a couple of weeks old, that hasn't seen much discussion here. In a class-action lawsuit in Australia against Merck for its Vioxx anti-arthritis drug, information has come out that the company developed a "hit list" of doctors who had expressed anything but enthusiasm for the drug. Vioxx was withdrawn from the market in 2004 because it causes heart attacks and strokes. Merck settled a class action in the US for $4.85 billion but did not admit guilt. "An international drug company made a hit list of doctors who had to be 'neutralized' or discredited because they criticized the anti-arthritis drug the pharmaceutical giant produced. Staff at US company Merck & Co. emailed each other about the list of doctors — mainly researchers and academics — who had been negative about the drug Vioxx or Merck and a recommended course of action. The email, which came out in the Federal Court in Melbourne yesterday as part of a class action against the drug company, included the words 'neutralize,' 'neutralized,' or 'discredit' against some of the doctors' names. It is also alleged the company used intimidation tactics against critical researchers, including dropping hints it would stop funding to institutions and claims it interfered with academic appointments. 'We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live,' a Merck employee wrote, according to an email excerpt read to the court by Julian Burnside QC, acting for the plaintiff."
Image

Japanese Astronaut Tests Stink-Free Underwear 69

Posted by samzenpus
from the In-space-nobody-can-smell-your-clean dept.
Throw away your soap, detergent, and personal hygiene, the Japanese have invented odor-free underwear. Koichi Wakata, a Japanese astronaut living in the International Space Station, is testing the underwear created by textile experts at Japan Women's University in Tokyo. The shorts are designed to kill bacteria, absorb water, insulate the body and dry quickly. They also are flame-resistant, and anti-static. "The other astronauts become very sweaty, but he doesn't have any sweat. He didn't need to hang his clothes to dry. He can wear his trunks (underwear) more than a week," said Koji Yanagawa, an official with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Space

UN Plans Asteroid Response Framework 152

Posted by samzenpus
from the where's-bruce-willis dept.
chrb writes "The Association of Space Explorers, a non-profit group of people who have completed at least one Earth orbit in space, has presented a report to the United Nations titled Asteroid Threats: A Call for Global Response. The UN will now meet in February to discuss the issue and try to define a global political framework for dealing with asteroid-based threats to the Earth."

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