Companies & Sectors
ED attaches Bhujbal's sugar mill, land in Nashik
Mumbai : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday attached a sugar mill and 290 acres of land in Nashik worth Rs.55 crore in connection with the money laundering cases filed against NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, his family and others, official sources said here.
 
The provisional attachment orders for the two properties -- Girna Sugar Mill and an adjacent plot in a prime area in Nashik -- owned by Bhujbals' firm Armstrong Infrastructure, has given an estimated value of around Rs.55 crores.
 
While the mill was bought over by the Bhujbal firm at an allegedly gross undervaluation of Rs.27 crore as part of an auction by the Debts Recovery Tribunal in 2010, it is suspsected that funds generated out of money laundering were used to to buy over these assets.
 
Earlier, the ED had attached movable and immovable assets linked with the Bhujbal family, including land and buildings in Mumbai worth around Rs.280 crore.
 
Bhujbal was arrested last week and is currently in judicial custody till March 31, while his nephew Samir Bhujbal was arrested in February and continues to be in judicial custody now.
 
The arrests followed two FIRs lodged against Bhujbal, son Pankaj, nephew Samir and others in connection with money-laundering cases and probing irregularities in the construction of the Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi and Kalina land grabbing cases.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Vacate interim stay on FDC drugs: Government to HC
New Delhi : The central government on Monday asked the Delhi High Court to vacate the interim stay on ban on some fixed dose combinations (FDC) medicines sold by pharma majors saying they "endanger patient safety".
 
Defending its decision to ban 344 FDC medicines through its March 10 notification, the government in an affidavit filed before the high court said: "The interim order granted to the Petitioner (pharma companies) would be against the public interest and endanger patient safety."
 
"Their objective is only to gain profits and the petition has been filed only to gain time and obstruct the legitimate functions of the government of India," the affidavit read.
 
Meanwhile, the Delhi high court on Monday deferred, to March 28, the hearing on pleas of pharma companies challenging the ban which means some of popular durgs such as Pfizer's Corex cough syrup, Reckitt's D'Cold and P&G's Vicks Action 500 extra will be available to consumer till next Monday.
 
Justice R.S. Endlaw also directed the government to provide the experts committee report, which recommended the ban, to all the pharma companies that are in court against the ban.
 
The high court had last week stayed operation of the ban on some FDC drugs of around 30 pharma companies including Cipla, Procter and Gamble (P&G), Pfizer, Glenmark, Glaxo Smithkline, Abbott Healthcare, Reckitt Benckiser, Piramal, etc.
 
Justice Ednlaw had asked the government not to take coercive steps against these companies till March 21.
 
In its affidavit, the government said FDC medicines are "new drugs" and require fresh licence from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). It said licences for FDCs were obtained from state authorities without seeking DCGI approval between 1988 to 2012.
 
A report of Parliamentary Standing Committee on health had said unauthorised FDCs that posed a risk to people need to be withdrawn immediately, the government said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Now There’s Proof: Docs Who Get Company Cash Tend to Prescribe More Brand-Name Meds
The more money doctors receive from drug and medical device companies, the more brand-name drugs they tend to prescribe, a new ProPublica analysis shows. Even a meal can make a difference
 
This story was co-published with NPR, the Boston Globe and the Tampa Bay Times.
 
Doctors have long disputed that the payments they receive from pharmaceutical companies have any relationship to how they prescribe drugs.
There’s been little evidence to settle the matter — until now.
 
A ProPublica analysis has found for the first time that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed tend to prescribe drugs differently than their colleagues who don’t. And the more money they receive, on average, the more brand-name medications they prescribe.
 
We matched records on payments from pharmaceutical and medical device makers in 2014 with corresponding data on doctors’ medication choices in Medicare’s prescription drug program. (You can read our methodology here.
 
Doctors who got money from drug and device makers—even just a meal– prescribed a higher percentage of brand-name drugs overall than doctors who didn’t, our analysis showed. Indeed, doctors who received industry payments were two to three times as likely to prescribe brand-name drugs at exceptionally high rates as others in their specialty.
 
Doctors who received more than $5,000 from companies in 2014 typically had the highest brand-name prescribing percentages. Among internists who received no payments, for example, the average brand-name prescribing rate was about 20 percent, compared to about 30 percent for those who received more than $5,000.
ProPublica’s analysis doesn’t prove industry payments sway doctors to prescribe particular drugs, or even a particular company’s drugs. Rather, it shows that payments are associated with an approach to prescribing that, writ large, benefits drug companies’ bottom line. 
 
“It again confirms the prevailing wisdom … that there is a relationship between payments and brand-name prescribing,” said Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who provided guidance on early versions of ProPublica’s analysis. “This feeds into the ongoing conversation about the propriety of these sorts of relationships. Hopefully we’re getting past the point where people will say, ‘Oh, there’s no evidence that these relationships change physicians’ prescribing practices.’”
 
Numerous studies show that generics, which must meet rigid Food and Drug Administration standards, work as well as name brands for most patients. Brand-name drugs typically cost more than generics and are more heavily advertised. Although some medications do not have exact generic versions, there usually is a similar one in the same category. In addition, when it comes to patient satisfaction, there isn’t much difference between brands and generics, according to data collected by the website Iodine, which is building a repository of user reviews on drugs.
 
There’s wide variation from state to state when it comes to the proportion of prescribers who take industry money, our analysis found. The rate in Nevada, Alabama, Kentucky and South Carolina was twice as high as in Vermont, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Maine.
 
But overall, payments are widespread. Nationwide, nearly nine in 10 cardiologists who wrote at least 1,000 prescriptions for Medicare patients received payments from a drug or device company in 2014, while seven in 10 internists and family practitioners did. 
 
Dr. Walid Gellad, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and co-director of its Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, who also reviewed our analysis, said the pervasiveness of payments is noteworthy. “You can debate if these payments are good or bad, or neither, but what isn’t debatable is that they permeate the profession.”
 
The results make sense, said Dr. Richard Baron, president and chief executive of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Doctors nowadays almost have to go out of their way to avoid taking payments from companies, according to Baron. And those who do probably have greater skepticism about the value of brand-name medications. Conversely, doctors have to work to cultivate deep ties with companies—those worth more than $5,000 a year — and such doctors probably have a greater receptiveness to brand-name drugs, he said.
 
“You have the people who are going out of their way to avoid this and you’ve got people who are, I’ll say, pretty committed and engaged to creating relationships with pharma,” Baron said. “If you are out there advocating for something, you are more likely to believe in it yourself and not to disbelieve it.”
 
 

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