Daily Rounds: $93K Prostate Drug; Hip Study Risks; Laws Defend Unhealthy Food; Genzyme Chief's Last Day

Medicare confirms payment for prostate cancer drug - WASHINGTON (AP) – "Medicare officials are confirming that the program will pay for the prostate cancer drug Provenge, an innovative therapy that costs $93,000 and extends life about four months. The decision from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid repeats an earlier proposed ruling that the biotech drug from Dendreon Corp. is a "reasonable and necessary" medicine."(

Elders not told of risks in hip study, US alleges - The Boston Globe "Federal health regulators have accused a research team led by a Harvard doctor of ethical violations after the scientists failed to inform elderly nursing home residents of serious health risks discovered during a study of hip fractures. In a letter sent last week to a Harvard-affiliated institution and two other major research universities, the Department of Health and Human Services concluded that the scientists suppressed information about the dangers to elders participating in research on how to reduce often lethal hip injuries. The regulators said the scientists should have shared their findings about the use of protective padded underwear with patients and safety boards that routinely oversee medical studies. (

Local Laws Fighting Fat Under Siege - "Several state legislatures are passing laws that prohibit municipalities and other local governments from adopting regulations aimed at curbing rising obesity and improving public health, such as requiring restaurants to provide nutritional information on menus or to eliminate trans fats from the foods they serve. Florida and Alabama recently adopted such limits, while Georgia, Tennessee and Utah have older statutes on their books. Earlier this year, Arizona prohibited local governments from forbidding the marketing of fast food using “consumer incentives” like toys." (

Longtime CEO Henri Termeer’s Genzyme ‘adventure’ ends - "The first 10 years were hard, with Genzyme trying to prove its enzyme-deficiency drug worked. 'There were many moments during that process where I thought we would not make it,' he said. The Bay State’s biotech industry eventually boomed along with bellwether Genzyme. Termeer said he never thought he’d see the governor and mayor of Boston at a national biotech conference trying to woo companies. 'The industry didn’t really exist. It was just a few companies,' he said of the early days. (Boston Herald)

This program aired on July 1, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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