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USA. Sacklers Directed Efforts to Mislead Public About OxyContin, New Documents Indicate

A filing in a Massachusetts lawsuit contains dozens of internal Purdue Pharma documents suggesting the family was far more involved than the company has long contended. (New York Times, 15.01.2019)


Association of Pharmaceutical Industry Marketing of Opioid Products With Mortality From Opioid-Related Overdoses.

Hadland SE, Rivera-Aguirre A, Marshall BDL, Cerdá M. 

JAMA Netw Open.2019;2(1):e186007. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.6007


USA. Generic Opioid Overdose Antidote Treatment to be Available in 2019

An authorized generic for kaléo’s naloxone HCl injection (Evzio®) will be availabile midyear in 2019, and will come with a list price of $178 per carton, each containing 2 auto-injectors. Offered through kaléo subsidiary IJ Therapeutics, the new authorized generic is the same formulation and design as the branded drug, but will have a different label. (Pharmacy Times, USA, 13.12.2018)


USA. County By County, Researchers Link Opioid Deaths To Drugmakers’ Marketing

Researchers sketched a vivid line Friday linking the dollars spent by drugmakers to woo doctors around the country to a vast opioid epidemic that has led to tens of thousands of deaths.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, looked at county-specific federal data and found that the more opioid-related marketing dollars were spent in a county, the higher the rates of doctors who prescribed those drugs and, ultimately, the more overdose deaths occurred in that county. (KHN – Kaiser Health News, USA, 18.01.2019)


Pfizer hit by UK Supreme Court ruling on Lyrica patent

Pfizer has lost its protracted patent battle in the UK for big-selling drug Lyrica, potentially exposing it to claims for hundreds of millions of pounds from the NHS. (pharmaphorum, UK, 15.11.2018)


USA. Despite Conflicting Evidence, A New Report Finds Legal Marijuana Does Not Impact Alcohol Sales

Weighing in on an issue that weighs heavily on alcoholic beverage suppliers, the Distilled Spirits Council released new research that shows the sale of legalized marijuana does not impact alcohol purchases, at least in the three states that have allowed recreational pot smoking the longest. (Forbes, USA, 10.01.2019)


Verhandlungen mit Cannabis-Hersteller: Warum Marlboro auf der Hanf-Welle reitet 

Die fortschreitende Legalisierung lässt nach der Getränkeindustrie nun offenbar auch Tabakkonzerne nach einem weiteren "legal High" suchen. Wie der kanadische Marihuana-Hersteller Cronos bestätigte, prüft die Marlboro-Mutter Altria offenbar den Einstieg in das Cannabis-Geschäft und hat deshalb Gespräche mit Cronos aufgenommen. (manager magazin, 04.12.2018)


USA. Congressional report: DEA, drug distributors failed to stop flow of opioids into West Virginia

The Drug Enforcement Administration and some of the country’s largest drug distributors failed to stop a massive flow of opioids into rural West Virginia over the past 10 years, according to a new congressional report.

According to the bipartisan report, prepared by the House Energy and Commerce Committee majority staff, the distributors did not conduct proper oversight of their customers and failed to recognize potential red flags. Distributors transfer drugs from manufacturers to businesses such as clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies, where they can be dispensed to patients. 

Those failures helped contribute to the worsening opioid epidemic in West Virginia, “the epicenter of the nation’s opioid epidemic and the state with the highest drug overdose death rate in the country,” the report says.

The report found that three of the country’s largest distributors did not question suspicious orders and did not monitor the volume of controlled substances sold to customers. (The Hill, USA, 19.12.2018)


USA. New Wine in Old Skins: Cannabis Branding and French Wine Appellations

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from contributing editor Dr. David A. Guba, Jr., of Bard Early College in Baltimore. Today he explores the potential for an appellation system for “craft marijuana,” which hopes to protect and promote cannabis grown by local farmers in places like the Emerald Triangle in California. Could American pot recreate an appellation system like France has for its wines? Read on and see! (Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society, USA, 04.12.2018)


USA. The National Cannabis Economy


The growth of the cannabis economy presents opportunities for greater job creation, more tax revenue, and better patient care. But current conflicts between state and federal law threaten to impede social and economic growth. Going forward, lawmakers and regulators should prioritize solutions that promote greater research into the health effects of cannabis and reduce regulations that restrict the industry’s ability to conduct business. (Democratic Staff of the Joint Economic Committee, USA, Senat, Dezember 2018)


Should Access to Scientific Research Be Free? Federally-Funded Research Might Someday Be Free

New Scientist article by Graham Lawton predicts that, by January 1, 2030, all biomedical research will be free to read. That might be an overly ambitious goal. It might not be a good idea, either.

If research is federally funded, then perhaps — as Boingboing suggests — the research findings should be free. However, sometimes you have to be careful about getting what you wish for. Federally-funded research that is free to everyone could actually compromise the integrity of the scientific information that is published.( Lynn Webster, M.D., Blog, USA, 01.12.2018)


USA. Opioid-Makers Face Wave of Lawsuits in 2019

The next 12 months might just redefine the way America thinks about and responds to the opioid epidemic that now claims more than 40,000 lives each year. The nation's biggest drugmakers and distributors face a wave of civil lawsuits that could total tens of billions of dollars in damages. (NPR – National Public Radio, USA. 31.12.2018)


USA. Sackler family members face mass litigation and criminal investigations over opioids crisis 

Exclusive: Suffolk county in Long Island has sued several family members, and Connecticut and New York are considering criminal fraud and racketeering charges against leading family members. (The Guardian, UK, 19.11.2018)


USA. Indivior Plans Cheaper Opioid Addiction Drug if Rivals Launch Copycats

Indivior Plc said on Tuesday it could launch a cheaper version of its blockbuster opioid addiction treatment, Suboxone, if rivals release generic versions of the drug. (psychcongress.com, USA, 16.12.2018)


DIE KOSTEN DER CANNABIS-PROHIBITION IN DEUTSCHLAND – Eine Studie im Auftrag des Deutschen Hanfverbands

14. November 2018

Prof. Dr. Justus Haucap, Dr. Christiane Kehder, Marc Feist und Jan Slowik

DICE Consult GmbH, Düsseldorf, 2018


Asien drängt in das Milliarden-Geschäft mit Cannabis 

Während im Westen eine neue Industrie entsteht, wird der Cannabis-Konsum in Asien noch hart bestraft. Jetzt liberalisieren die Staaten ihre Gesetze. (Handelsblatt, 22.12.2018)


Studie zu legalem Cannabis: Fiskus könnte 2,4 Milliarden Euro einnehmen 

Kanada kifft, ebenso wie neun US-Staaten: Sie haben Cannabis legalisiert. Was würde eine Freigabe für deutsche Staatskassen bedeuten? Eine Studie des Hanfverbands verspricht ein Milliardenplus. (Spiegel online, 16.11.2018)

USA. US-Tabakkonzern Altria steigt bei E-Zigaretten-Anbieter Juul ein

Washington – Der US-Tabakkonzern Altria mit Marken wie Marlboro und Chesterfield steigt für 12,8 Milliarden Dollar (11,2 Milliarden Euro) beim E-Zigaretten-Hersteller Juul ein. (aerzteblatt.de, 21.12.2018)


Israel. Finance Minister Lambastes Delay in Approving Medical Marijuana Exports 

Moshe Kahlon blames the Public Security Ministry for foot-dragging, thus 'harming Israel’s economy, farmers and local industry,' calls for cabinet to approve exports and advance legislation. (Haaretz, Israel, 06.11.2018)


Global. Tilray Inc.: Ten internationally-renowned business and government leaders to advise company on global expansion 

NANAIMO, B.C. – Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY), a global pioneer in cannabis production and distribution, today announced the formation of its International Advisory Board, an esteemed group of business and government leaders who will provide guidance to Tilray’s executive team and Board of Directors as the company pursues its aggressive global growth strategy. 

(...) Joschka Fischerserved as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is a member of the Executive Board of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Fischer also currently serves as Managing Partner of Joschka Fischer & Company, a global strategy firm, where he advises clients on issues relating to Germany and the European Union. (Tilray Inc., Kanada, 12.12.2018)


USA. Trump’s New Opioid Package Is Gift-Wrapped for Indivior—At What Cost?

On October 24, President Donald Trump signed a package of bills into law aimed at addressing the overdose crisis, dubbed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. But critics say it might as well be called the SUPPORT Indivior Act—a reference to the maker of Suboxone (active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone) and Sublocade, the recently approved injectable version of the drug, designed to last a month. (Indivior projects Sublocade’s annual sales will eventually reach $1 billion annually.) (Filter, USA, 29.10.2018)


Kanada. AB InBev and Tilray Announce Research Partnership Focused on Non-Alcohol THC and CBD Beverages - New Partnership to Focus on Research that will Guide Responsible Innovation.

TORONTO, CANADA – December 19, 2018 –Today, AB InBev, the world’s leading brewer, and Tilray, a global pioneer in cannabis production and distribution, announced a partnership to research non-alcohol beverages containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The partnership is limited to Canada and decisions regarding the commercialization of the beverages will be made in the future. (Tilray Inc., Kanada, 19.12.2018)


Kanada. Legaler Handel: Kanada kifft

Kanada gibt als erstes großes Industrieland Marihuana als Genussmittel frei. Die Branche hofft auf ein Milliardengeschäft – und die Börse ist im Rausch. (faz.net, 15.10.2018)


Global. Tilray® Signs Global Collaboration Agreement with Leading Pharmaceutical Company -- Tilray Inc. announced today that it entered into a global framework agreement (the “Framework Agreement”) to collaborate with Sandoz AG.

NANAIMO, B.C.– Tilray Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), a global pioneer in the production, research, and distribution of medical cannabis, announced today that it entered into a global framework agreement (the “Framework Agreement”) to collaborate with Sandoz AG, a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars and a part of Novartis group, to increase availability of high quality medical cannabis products across the world. (Tilray Inc., Kanada, 18.12.2018)


How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical Guide

This is the second edition of our  guide to regulating legal markets for the non-medical use of cannabis. It is for policy makers, drug policy reform advocates and affected communities all over the world, who are witnessing the question change from, ‘Should we maintain cannabis prohibition?’ to ‘How will legal regulation work in practice?’ (Transform, UK, Oktober 2018)


Umstrittene E-Zigarette kommt nach Deutschland

Washington/Hamburg – Ab heute wird die stark nikotinhaltige und daher umstrittene E-Zigarette Juul aus den USA auch in Deutschland erhältlich sein. Im Gegensatz zu den USA enthält die E-Zigarette hierzulande laut der Tabakproduktrichtlinie mit 20 Milligramm pro Milliliter weniger als die Häfte an Nikotin als das ursprüngliche US-Produkt. Die US-Gesundheitsbehörde FDA hatte vor Juul gewarnt – insbesondere auch wegen der vielen Schüler, die an Juul ziehen. (aerzteblatt.de, 19.12.2018)


Russland. Russia views opium poppy cultivation as response to sanctions 

A special commission of the Russian government has approved a draft law on the procedure for growing “narcotic” plants in Russia, in particular, the allowed varieties of hypnotic poppy (Papaver somniferum L). (...)

The Russian government’s website stresses that the international market for pharmaceutical substances for the production of opium drugs is controlled by a group of 10 companies, nine of which are under the jurisdiction of the states that imposed sanctions against Russia. (Belsat TV, Weißrussland, 23.10.2018)


Who is pirating medical literature? A bibliometric review of 28 million Sci-Hub downloads

Till, Brian M et al.

The Lancet Global Health , Volume 7 , Issue 1 , e30 - e31, doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30388-7


Drogenbeauftragte für neuen Anlauf zu einem Tabakwerbeverbot

Hannover – Die Drogenbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, Marlene Mortler (CSU), hat einen neuen Anlauf für ein Verbot von Tabakwerbung auf Plakaten und im Kino gefordert. „Viel zu lange liegt das Tabakaußenwerbeverbot bereits auf Eis“, sagte Mortler den Zeitungen des Redaktionsnetzwerks Deutschland. Es sei Zeit, endlich mit den Diskussionen Schluss zu machen. (aerzteblatt.de, 17.10.2018)


USA. Drug company to offer cheaper opioid overdose treatment after hiking price 600 percent

(...) A report from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations last month found that the company, Kaléo, hiked the price of its drug Evzio to $4,100 for two injectors, raising the price by more than 600 percent between 2014 and 2017. (The Hill, USA, 12.12.2018)