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The 10 Weirdest Drug Stories of the Month

Obesity cure for fruit flies! Merck looks for buddhism pill! Constipation drugs for dogs! It all happened in August ...

  1. Om! Merck will examine brains of buddhists for new antidepressants Neuroscientists will stick meditators into MRIs to see what the brain looks like when it's calm. Transcendence? There's gonna be a pill for that ...
  2. Pfizer sues supplier over bogus kosher certification A New York dietary-supplement company allegedly tricked Pfizer into buying grape-seed extract that wasn't kosher, a lawsuit charges.
  3. NY mayor claims pharma CEOs can barely make ends meet Can you hear a tiny violin playing? Bloomberg: "You know, last time I checked, pharmaceutical companies don't make a lot of money, their executives don't make a lot of money." He's a billionaire, so maybe it looks that way from the other end of the telescope.
  4. Caltech boffins find cure for obesity ... in fruit flies A team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology have pinpointed two groups of neurons in fruit fly brains that have the ability to sense and manipulate the fly's fat stores in much the same way as do neurons in the mammalian brain.
  5. Allergan conference call riddled with wisecracks Sales were down at Allergan but CEO David Pyott and Merrill Lynch analyst Greg Gilbert yukked it up on their conference call anyway. Discussing the company's Latisse eyelash business for women, Gilbert said: "After the male product, you might be able to get your hands on the trademark for Matisse, just a suggestion." Not to be outdone, Pyott said of his efficiency drive: "... I like to say that there's nothing finer for a Scotsman than observing cost control. And I would really say in terms of corporate culture, given what we did at the end of January in terms of this was the first layoff we've ever had since my arrival, I think that shook everybody up."
  6. Murderer keeps "Zoloft made me do it" defense alive with appeal A convicted murderer appealed a judge's order dismissing his lawsuit against Pfizer in which he alleged the antidepressant he was taking led him to try to commit suicide and then take his girlfriend's life.
  7. Roche exec ships $11M in merchandise to sexy scam artist Roche Diagnostics vp Donald Dumoulin was offered a job at a bogus company with a salary of millions. There was one catch: Sara Golden, the "marathon runner, who was smart, slim, and blond, with wholesome good looks," who interviewed him for the gig wanted some discount product, which Roche supplied. Separately: What is the deal with Roche execs getting taken in by scam artists? It happened in Miami, too.
  8. Is your dog constipated? India has something for that. Try Kennel1 dog laxative. That should shake things loose. (Product ad pictured.)
  9. Idiotic Lilly reps hate their successful ad campaign for Cialis Drug reps at Eli Lilly are baffled by their company's ads for Cialis, which feature a couple sitting outdoors in separate baths. Don't hate the playa, hate the game: Sales are up.
  10. Viagra doesn't work for pulmonary hypertension in sickle cell anemia A third of those in the Viagra arm suffered sickle cell pain crisis. Only 8 percent of those in the placebo suffered the same. Hey, at least they gave it a shot.
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