Friday, December 17, 2010

  • WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Vows to Resume Whistleblowing After Release from London Jail


    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been freed from a London prison after a High Court ruled he could be released on bail. Assange spent the past nine days in solitary confinement following his arrest on an international warrant to face sex crimes allegations in Sweden. In a brief statement outside the courthouse, Assange thanked his supporters and vowed to continue his work. [includes rush transcript]

  • WikiLeaks Cables: Pfizer Targeted Nigerian Attorney General to Undermine Suit over Fatal Drug Tests


    Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks show the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer hired investigators to find evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general to pressure him to drop a $6 billion lawsuit over fraudulent drug tests on Nigerian children. Researchers did not obtain signed consent forms, and medical personnel said Pfizer did not tell parents their children were getting the experimental drug. Eleven children died, and others suffered disabling injuries including deafness, muteness, paralysis, brain damage, loss of sight, slurred speech. We speak to Washington Post reporter Joe Stephens, who helped break the story in 2000, and Musikilu Mojeed, a Nigerian journalist who has worked on this story for the NEXT newspaper in Lagos. [includes rush transcript]

  • Deadly Medicine: FDA Fails to Regulate Rapidly Growing Industry of Overseas Drug Testing


    Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly conducting clinical trials for new drugs outside the U.S., usually in countries where regulations are less stringent and trials are much cheaper, often leading to deadly results. Twenty years ago, only 271 trials of drugs intended for use by Americans were conducted overseas. By 2008, the number had risen to nearly 6,500—many taking places in areas with poor and illiterate test subjects. Journalist Jim Steele joins to talk about his special investigation just published in Vanity Fair. [includes rush transcript]

  • Study: Pharmaceutical Drug Companies Top Military Industry in Defrauding U.S. Gov’t


    A new study by the watchdog group Public Citizen has found that the pharmaceutical drug industry has become the biggest defrauder of the federal government, surpassing the defense industry. Public Citizen found that the drug industry paid out nearly $20 billion in penalties over the past two decades for violations of the False Claim Act. More than half of the industry’s fines were paid by just four companies: GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Schering-Plough. [includes rush transcript]