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The Morning Briefing: Picks in Pharmaceuticals

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about news in the pharmaceutical industry.
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Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributor on

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about news in the pharmaceutical industry.

1.) Generic Biotech drugs stymied by slow and costly process. A pledge that the Obama administration made concerning healthcare for U.S. citizens was the overhaul required in order to enable cheaper copies of biotech drugs that are usually expensive to purchase. However, the savings may not come soon enough.

2.) New lifesaving £1.40 ($2.23) heart pill earns European approval. Ivabradine, a pill that costs £1.40 a day and that could save the lives of thousands of heart failure patients every year, has been approved by European regulators. New data on the drug has suggested that it could cut death rates by up to 39 percent, and prevent between 5,000 and 10,000 deaths a year.

3.) FDA seeks more data on new combination cholesterol drug. Merck & Co. is trying to improve its place in the cholesterol drug market but its latest attempt faces another hurdle -- more data must be provided to the FDA before an application for a new drug that combines Merck's cholesterol drug Zetia and a generic version of Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor will be considered further.

4.) How do anti-depressants affect pregnancy? Should you continue taking antidepressant medication to keep depression at bay, even though the medication may harm a fetus during pregnancy?

5.) U.S. Navy to begin alcohol, drug tests for sailors. The U.S. Navy said it will begin breathalyzing and enforce random testing for synthetic drugs after dozens of sailors on aircraft carriers involved in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were discharged last year for drug use.

Bonus: Fluoride pills switched for cancer drug

Image credit: Dean A

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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