The 10 Weirdest Drug Stories of the Month

Last Updated Nov 28, 2008 1:28 PM EST

wta3705.jpgIt's time again for BNET's roundup of the news that was too strange for our regular programming but too interesting to be ignored. Here are the 10 weirdest drug stories of November 2008:
  1. French Researchers Working Hard to Take the Fun Out of Pot In France, researchers are trying to develop a new painkiller from a drug that mimics the pain-relieving affects of marijuana but doesn't get you high. Side effects include hypothermia and reduced movement in mice. These side-effects would have to be managed in any treatments developed for humans, the researchers said -- doubtless with more drugs.
  2. Yes Holly Springs, Novartis Is Santa Claus The good townsfolk of Holly Springs, N.C., became so freaked out by the credit crisis that they managed to convince themselves on the basis of rumors that Novartis would stop building its new $700 million facility there. A delegation from the mayor's office to the plant confirmed that it was still being built.
  3. New Thing to Worry About: HPV Causes Mouth and Anal Cancer Big Pharma's obsession with HPV won't be going away any time soon as researchers find new, totally gross, types of cancer caused by HPV.
  4. Gilead Directors Get $9.3 Million Payday Directors on the board of Gilead are the second-highest paid in all the land. They shared $9.3 million between them. The company has been doing quite well recently.
  5. Wyeth Sells Cream for Painful Sex Despite the category's well-documented history of commercial failure, Wyeth is launching a new sex cream for women.
  6. One Person's Three-Year Obsession With an Off-Color Joke Told at Bristol-Myers Squibb In early 2006, BMS U.S. president Tony Hooper allegedly told this joke to an employee meeting about the company's schizophrenia drug, Abilify: "I have two mics on this morning -- so you'll hear both of me. We have alot of patients on Ablilify and we talk to both of them all the time." Someone on the Cafe Pharma bulletin boards has been keeping this faux pas alive ever since.
  7. Explosion at GSK plant in UK Caused by Fire Extinguisher How unlucky can you be? GlaxoSmithKline is building a new plant and a fire extinguisher blows up, burning the place down and killing one.
  8. Sanofi Reps Discuss Dumbest Sales Coaching Tactics Tape all your meetings with doctors! Dress up like Little Bo Peep! Role play in the waiting room in front of laughing patients! And many other tales from the front.
  9. Wyeth Employee Demonstrates How to Get Sued for Race Discrimination A manager at Wyeth allegedly said "I'm the head [n-word] in charge" in front a black employee. Four lawsuits are still going on.
  10. Novo Nordisk Insulin Pens Say Empty But Aren't In an apparent design flaw, the Novolog Flexpen registers "empty" but still contains a bunch of insulin. On this bulletin board, diabetics discuss how to get the extra drug out. Note to readers: Tampering with a medical device is a really bad idea. Note to Novo Nordisk: Redesign this flawed medical device.
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