Archive for Thursday, June 3, 2004

Briefcase

June 3, 2004

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Drug company accused of hiding damaging data

GlaxoSmithKline PLC committed fraud by withholding negative information and misrepresenting data on prescribing its antidepressant Paxil to children, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer.

The lawsuit highlights two pharmaceutical and medical controversies: whether antidepressants increase suicidal tendencies in children, and if drug companies skew information on their products either by not publicizing all the studies conducted on medicines or editing information on published trials.

Filed in New York State Supreme Court, the suit said Glaxo suppressed four studies that failed to demonstrate the drug was effective in treating children and adolescents and that suggested a possible increase in suicidal thinking and acts.

Glaxo spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne said the company "acted responsibly in conducting the studies in pediatric patients and disseminating results.

Research

Life sciences events set in Kansas City

Kansas City area leaders will hear a presentation today about the area's ability to promote itself as a hub for the life sciences industry.

More than 600 people are expected to attend the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute's annual dinner in Kansas City, Mo. The event will feature a keynote address by Richard Seline, of New Economy Strategies. Seline will deliver findings from a study that seeks ways for the Kansas City area to excel and separate itself from other life science markets.

The institute also will present Life Sciences Research Day, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Overland Park Convention Center. The event will include presentations by more than 200 researchers and employees of life sciences organizations across the country.

Utilities

Aquila seeks increase in Kansas electric rates

Kansas City, Mo.-based Aquila filed a request to increase the electric rates it charges in Kansas by 13 percent.

In its filing with the Kansas Corporation Commission, the company said it was seeking the increase to cover the costs of new investments in the state, including improvements to its power plants and expansion of its distribution network.

The increase would be the company's first rate increase in the state since 2001. Aquila is the natural gas provider for the Lawrence area, but does not provide electric power in the area.

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