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New Ceutical City Pharmers

The NEW CEUTICAL CITY PHARMERS are a new cosmic baseball team for Season 2004. The Pharmers are comprised of selected prescription drugs. The team was created February 22, 2004 and will compete in the Lowerleague.

On February 6, 2003 South Korean leukemia patients staged a demonstration in front of the Seoul office of the Novartis pharmaceutical company. The patients were protesting the cost of an important new leukemia drug, Glivec, manufactured exclusively by Novartis. At US$19 per tablet and a yearly tab of $50,000 for the daily 8-tablet regimen, the cost of Glivec was out of the reach of the patients.

In 1987 Merck & Co., Inc. released for patient use the drug Mectizan (ivermectin). The drug prevents "river blindenss" an insidious disease affecting millions of people in less developed environments. Each year Merck donates the drug to people in some 31 countries where the disease is prevalent.

The stories of Glivec and Mectizan provide the dialectics for a debate that ranges from bioethics to capitalist economic theory. The New Ceutical City Pharmers have been forged from this controversy.

Official Team Roster

Player Position
Celexa LF
Demerol IF
Eldepryl P
Eskalith P
Geodon IF
Halcion CF
Klonopin OF
Nardil 3B
Paxil C
Percocet IF/OF
Prozac P
Ritalin OF
Thorazine RF
Ultram P
Valium IF
Viagra P
Vivactil P
Wellbutrin 1B
Xanax 2B
Zoloft SS
Zyprexa OF
JP Garnier Manager
Howard Solomon Coach
Raymond Gilmartin GM
PhRMA Owner
Pharmer Park Park
Team Index

Celexa LinkCelexa
Citalopram hydrobromide
Forest Pharmaceuticals Used to treat major depression. Symptoms may include loss of interest in usual activities, insomnia or excessive sleeping, a change in weight or appetite, constant fidgeting or a slowdown in movement, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty thinking or concentrating, and repeated thoughts of suicide. Like the antidepressant medications Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft, Celexa is thought to work by boosting serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin, one of the nervous system's primary chemical messengers, is known to elevate mood.
Demerol LinkDemerol
Meperidine hydrochloride
Sanofi-Synthelabo A narcotic analgesic, prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe pain. Meperidine is an opioid analgesic which acts predominantly as a mu-agonist. In its effects on the CNS, meperidine resembles but is not identical to morphine. Analgesic effects are detectable within about 15 minutes following oral administration, reaching a peak within about 2 hours and subsiding gradually over several hours thereafter.
Eldepryl LinkEldepryl
Selegiline hydrochloride
Somerset Pharmaceuticals Eldepryl is prescribed along with Sinemet (levodopa/carbidopa) for people with Parkinson's disease. It is used when Sinemet no longer seems to be working well. Eldepryl has no effect when taken by itself; it works only in combination with Larodopa (levodopa) or Sinemet. Parkinson's disease, which causes muscle rigidity and difficulty with walking and talking, involves the progressive degeneration of a particular type of nerve cell.
Eskalith LinkEskalith
GlaxoSmithKline Lithium was introduced in 1949 as a treatment for mania, for which there is still the strongest evidence of its efficacy. It has consistently yielded better results in the treatment of mania than neuroleptics and carbamazepine and equivalent results to divalproex. Its efficacy in bipolar depression remains inadequately studied.
Geodon LinkGeodon
Ziprasidone hydrochloride
Pfizer Used in the treatment of the crippling mental disorder known as schizophrenia. Researchers believe that it works by opposing the action of serotonin and dopamine, two of the brain's major chemical messengers. Because of its potentially serious side effects, Geodon is typically prescribed only after other medications have proved inadequate.
Halcion LinkHalcion
Pharmacia & Upjohn For the symptomatic relief of transient and short-term insomnia in patients who have difficulty falling asleep. Triazolam is not recommended for early morning awakenings. Treatment with triazolam should usually not exceed 7 to 10 consecutive days. Use for more than 2 to 3 consecutive weeks requires complete re-evaluation of the patient. The use of hypnotics should be restricted for insomnia where disturbed sleep results in impaired daytime functioning.
Klonopin LinkKlonopin
Roche Clonazepam is an anticonvulsant primarily used in the treatment of seizure disorders. Clonazepam is a member of a class of drug known as benzodiazepines. This drug may also be used as an antianxiety, for the short-term relief of mild to moderate anxiety. Clonazepam may also be used to treat movement disorders ( e.g., Touette's Syndrome), panic disorder, drug-induced mania, and to help resistant depression.
Nardil LinkNardil
Phenelzine sulfate
Parke-Davis/Pfizer Nardil is a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor used to treat depression as well as anxiety or phobias mixed with depression. MAO is an enzyme responsible for breaking down certain neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain. By inhibiting MAO, Nardil helps restore more normal mood states.
Paxil LinkPaxil
Paroxetine hydrochloride
GlaxoSmithKline The effectiveness of Paxil in the treatment of panic disorder was demonstrated in three 10- to 12-week multicenter, placebo-controlled studies of adult outpatients. Patients in all studies had panic disorder (DSM-IIIR), with or without agoraphobia. In these studies, Paxil was shown to be significantly more effective than placebo in treating panic disorder by at least 2 out of 3 measures of panic attack frequency and on the Clinical Global Impression Severity of Illness score.
Percocet LinkPercocet
Acetaminophen Oxycodone hydrochloride
EndoPercocet, a narcotic analgesic, is used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. It contains two drugs--acetaminophen and oxycodone. Acetaminophen is used to reduce both pain and fever. Oxycodone, a narcotic analgesic, is used for its calming effect and for pain.
Prozac LinkProzac
Fluoxetine hydrochloride
Eli Lilly Prozac is prescribed for the treatment of depression, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), formerly known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Prozac is a member of the family of drugs called "selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors." Serotonin is one of the chemical messengers believed to govern moods.
Ritalin LinkRitalin
Methylphenidate hydrochloride
Novartis Ritalin and other brands of methylphenidate are mild central nervous system stimulants used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. When given for attention deficit disorder, this drug should be an integral part of a total treatment program that includes psychological, educational, and social measures.
Thorazine LinkThorazine
GlaxoSmithKline Thorazine is used for the treatment of schizophrenia (severe disruptions in thought and perception). It is also prescribed for the short-term treatment of severe behavioral disorders in children, including explosive hyperactivity and combativeness; and for the hyperenergetic phase of manic-depressive illness (severely exaggerated moods). .
Ultram LinkUltram
Tramadol hydrochloride
Ortho-McNeil Ultram is a pain relief medicine. Laboratory studies suggest that first, ULTRAM acts directly on parts of the brain and spinal cord to reduce the amount of pain. Second, it reduces the size of the pain signal passed from one nerve to another.
Valium LinkValium
Roche Valium is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders and for short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. It is also used to relieve the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal, to relax muscles, to relieve the uncontrolled muscle movements caused by cerebral palsy and paralysis of the lower body and limbs, to control involuntary movement of the hands (athetosis), to relax tight, aching muscles. .
Viagra LinkViagra
Sildenafil citrate
Pfizer Viagra is the first oral drug for male impotence. It works by dilating blood vessels in the penis, allowing the inflow of blood needed for an erection.
Vivactil LinkVivactil
Protriptyline hydrochloride
Odyssey Vivactil is used to treat the symptoms of mental depression in people who are under close medical supervision. It is particularly suitable for those who are inactive and withdrawn. Vivactil is a member of the family of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. Researchers don't know exactly how it works. Unlike the class of antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), it does not act primarily through stimulation of the central nervous system.
Wellbutrin LinkWellbutrin
Bupropion hydrochloride
GlaxoSmithKline Bupropion has a stimulant type of effect and is used primarily for the treatment of major depression. Bupropion can also be used to treat ADHD, Bipolar depression, to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, in reducing cocaine craving, to help kick smoking, and to reduce lower back pain.
Xanax LinkXanax
Pharmacia & Upjohn Xanax is a tranquilizer used in the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety or the treatment of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorder is marked by unrealistic worry or excessive fears and concerns. Xanax is also used in the treatment of panic disorder, which appears as unexpected panic attacks and may be accompanied by a fear of open spaces called agoraphobia.
Zoloft LinkZoloft
Pfizer Zoloft is a member of the family of drugs called "selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors." It is used in the treatment of major depressive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and for treating posttraumatic stress disorder.
Zyprexa LinkZyprexa
Eli Lilly Zyprexa helps manage symptoms of schizophrenia, the manic phase of manic-depression, and other psychotic disorders. It is thought to work by opposing the action of serotonin and dopamine, two of the brain's major chemical messengers.
GlaxoSmithKline HomepageJP Garnier
GlaxoSmithKline GlaxoSmithKline was created in 2000 by the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham."The company will be changing dramatically in 2004. By the end of 2004 our exposure to generics will be greatly diminished and our late-stage product portfolio will be greatly increased." (Garnier)
Forest Laboratories HomepageHoward Solomon
Forest Laboratories "The pharmaceutical industry for long has not been a media favorite, although for what we accomplish in relieving pain and prolonging life we ought to be adored - because our achievements are so beneficial, so brilliantly conceived and developed, so painstakingly arrived at after so much arduous labor and vast expense and risk." (Solomon)
Merck HomepageRaymond Gilmartin
Merck "At Merck, we believe that it is not enough to discover new medicines. We have to make sure that they get to those who need them." (Gilmartin)
PhRMA HomepagePhRMA
Trade Association
Pharamaceutical Industry Prescription drugs are the best value in health care - saving lives, reducing pain and suffering, keeping people out of hospitals and nursing homes, and reducing other forms of health care spending. Despite increases in utilization, drug costs remain 10 cents of the nation's health care dollar." (PhRMA: Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)



Pharmaceutical marketing accounted fox $13,800,000,000 in 1999. Yet, more than half of that--$7,200,000,000-was for free samples of drugs, which serve as a discount when doctors pass them out to patients, Most of the rest went for professional advertising and promotion. Advertising promotes price competition and lowers prices.

The 1962 amendments to the Food, Drugs, and Cosmetic Act effectively shifted primary decision-making authority in pharmaceuticals from market mechanisms to a centralized regulatory authority…Total development costs per successful drug more than doubled between 1963-75 and 1970-82. By the 1980s, new drugs were routinely receiving faster approval in Europe than in America. It was calculated in 1995 that reducing FDA review time by one year alone would cut annual industry costs by $361,000,000.

Drug companies advertise because it is more profitable to push consumption than to research new drugs. As a result, too often the drugs we consume are quick fix solutions to complex health problems. For the pharmaceutical industry, however, pill popping is more profitable than preventive health promotion, which nine times out of 10 will do more to improve human well-being.

We believe that if you're only concerned with maximizing profits, you won't be successful. We've had positive comments from stockholders, and have had the support of colleagues.

A 1985 General Accounting Office report showed that nearly half the new drugs approved between 1976 and 1985 had fatal side effects not identified during testing.

It is in the interest of the pharmaceutical industry to publicize and inflate the prevalence of sexual dysfunctions. (examples: primary and secondary anorgasmia, erection failure, vaginismus, premature ejaculation, hypoactive sexual desire, sexual aversions, dyspareunia, and retarded ejaculation.)

Big Pharma's key obsessions [are] money madness, ruthless suppression of competition, and ability to bend rules to its own advantage, political clout and a contemptible disregard for the consumer. All this from an industry that takes every opportunity to crow about its noble mission to fight disease.

The pharmaceutical industry [is at the] top of the profitability league. In 2001 when profits of the Fortune 500 corporations took a 53-per-cent dive, drug company profits shot up by 32 per cent. Last year (2002) pharmaceutical sales raked in $400.6 billion.

Developing countries bear a disproportionate part of the world's disease burden. But with 80 per cent of the world's population they account for only 10 per cent of global drug sales. The whole of Africa's drug bill is just one per cent of the world total.

[M]alaria [is] a disease which has developed several increasingly virulent drug-resistant strains and which affects up to 500 million people a year. In 2000 Glaxo Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline) launched the first new antimalarial developed by a drug company in 40 years. However, it was aimed at prevention, not treatment. Its market was the estimated seven million tourists and visitors who venture into malarial regions, not the people who live in them. For meaningful research on new malaria drugs we have to look to publicly and charitably funded institutions.

Medication reactions are the fourth leading cause of death in the US, dwarfing the number of deaths caused by automobile accidents, HIV/AlDS, alcohol and drug abuse, infectious diseases, diabetes and murder.

Bernard Lemoine, director-general of France's National Pharmaceutical Industry Association: 'I don't see why special effort is demanded from the pharmaceutical industry. Nobody asks Renault to give cars to people who haven't got one.'

It is not altogether impossible for a sex researcher to pursue his or her scientific curiosity without being compromised by the pharmaceutical industry…keeping one's scientific integrity while conducting studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry is not impossible.

While the debilitating diseases of the poor--such as malaria, tuberculosis and sleeping sickness--have few or no treatments, the drug companies are busy working on cures for a ballooning set of 'made-up' diseases of the rich and privileged. There are now drugs for toenail fungus, 'pre-hypertension' and bedwetting; for compulsive shopping and gambling 'addiction'. The yawning extremes between the research priorities in our two worlds get larger--and weirder.

Creating a market that will reduce men's nocturnal trips to the bathroom is what modem drug research is all about. Finding lifesaving treatments for poor customers can be left to the philanthropists.

Drug companies claim they need a large market to recoup their research and development costs. But the top drug companies throw nearly three times more money at marketing and promotion than they do at basic R&D.

The antidepressant market is large and fluid. Everything from critically debilitating depression to mild anxiety could be ripe for medication. Large companies, fiercely fighting for customers, are constantly seeking to expand the definition of depression and so increase the numbers who need treatment. In such a milieu, tragic events like 11 September 2001 are seen as marketing opportunities, as excuses to flog more treatments for 'post traumatic stress disorder'.

Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has taken paroxetine (Paxil in North America, Seroxat in Europe) and had it approved to treat what we used to call social phobia or shyness, now reclassified as 'social anxiety disorder' (SAD). Barry Brand, Paxil's product director, told the journal Advertising Age: 'Every marketer's dream is to find an unidentified or unknown market and develop it. That's what we were able to do with social anxiety disorder.'

Loren Mosher, in his letter of resignation to the American Psychiatric Association, said: 'Psychiatrists have become the minions of drug company promotions.' He blasted the drug-industry shaped definitions of mental disease: 'No longer do we seek to understand whole persons in their social contexts--rather we are there to realign our patients' neurotransmitters. '

Zantac ulcer drug costs $3.20 versus .44 for the generic version of the drug.

8% is the projected average annual increase in out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs through 2008.

$500 million is the average cost from lab to market for one new drug. Only one in 5,000 drugs reaches the market.

GlaxoSmithKline is the worlds largest pharmaceutical company (after December 2000 merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beacham.) 100,000 employees; 40,000 sales/marketing personnel (8000 in US).

According to Public Citizen, the drug industry's political spending could top $230 million for the 1999-2000 election cycle. That figure includes roughly $170 million for lobbying, almost $15 million in direct campaign contributions to Republicans and Democrats, at least $35 million in campaign ads by an industry-funded group, and $10 million funneled to the US Chamber of Commerce for ads favoring the drug industry.

In 1992, 52 percent of the industry's contributions went to Republican candidates and campaign committees. In 1996, the Republican share of drug industry contributions climbed to 71 percent. In the 2000 cycle, 78 percent of industry contributions have gone to Republicans.

Modern medicines may not all be miracles but they certainly work wonders. Prescription medicines provide the best value in health care. They not only save lives, they save money. They reduce the costs of other more expensive forms of health care and keep patients out of the hospital, out of nursing homes, out of emergency rooms, out of surgery and in the home and on the job. Modem medicines developed in large part by the U.S. pharmaceutical-research industry enable patients all over the world to lead longer, healthier and more productive lives.

Only one of 5,000 screened compounds is approved as a new medicine. Of these 5,000 compounds, 250 enter preclinical testing, five proceed to clinical testing and one is approved by the FDA. Only three of 10 marketed drugs generate enough revenue to match or exceed research and development (R&D) costs. The average cost of developing a new drug, according to the Tufts economists, was $802 million in 2000 dollars, up from $318 million in 1987. The cost includes the expenses of project failures and the impact that long development times have on investment costs.

Prescription medicines even though they are the most cost-effective form of medical care represent just 10 cents of the health-care dollar. This dime pays for all of today's medicines and the research on new medicines.

When public relations firms team up with pharmaceutical profiteers, women are all too often their favorite target audience, and the creation of a new disease (and its overpriced pharmaceutical cure), de rigueur. Remember premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)--basically PMS on overdrive--targeted at perimenopausal women? PR firms teamed up with Eli Lilly, the makers of Prozac, and repackaged their moneymaker as Sarafem (fluoexetine), the touted pharmaceutical cure for PMDD, just as the patent on the pricey Prozac expired.

During the past decade, pharmaceutical industry sponsorship of clinical trials has increased dramatically. Approximately 70% of funding for clinical trials now comes from pharmaceutical or biotechnology firms.

Clinical studies underwritten by pharmaceutical companies can be used to serve marketing or licensing rather than scientific purposes.

If governments attempt to limit public healthcare spending by imposing price controls on the pharmaceutical sector and suppressing its profitability, they risk undermining the ability of drug companies to fund the lengthy and difficult process of discovering and developing new medicines.

"In our corporation we say over and over again, medicine is for the people and not the profits, and if you remember the people, the profits will follow," says Gwendolyn Fisher, Merck's manager of corporate communications. "Any employee knows this, and if they don't know it by heart, they know the gist of it."

The people of Central Africa could see that their children weren't suffering. And, thanks to Merck, they no longer had friends and family members driven to suicide by the bite of a black fly carrying the Onchocerca volvulus parasite. Merck's Mectizan Donation Program, which began in 1987, provides for free the drug Mectizan to battle the parasite's effects, which include an itching so extreme some of those afflicted kill themselves for relief, as well as a creeping blindness that sets in as the infection travels to the eyes.

Merck plans to give away about $257 million in cash and drugs this year (2001). The company's philanthropic programs support two directives: advance scientific knowledge and education and improve health care.

Information References


"Demonizing drugmakers" by Doug Bandow in USA Today Magazine: September, 2003.


"Feeling fine?" by Yves Engler in Briarpatch Magazine: June, 2003.


"We are not the problem"  by Henry McKinnel[i] as told to Mary Hager in The Chief Executive: July, 2002.


"Sexology and the Pharmaceutical Industry: The Threat of Co-optation" by Leonore Tiefer in the Journal of Sex Research: August, 2000.


"The great health grab" by Dinyar Godrej in the New Internationalist: November, 2003.


"Respone to Sexology" (see 6 above) by Ellen Laan, Louise Beekman and Walter Everaerd in Journal of Sex Research: May, 2001.


"Peddling paranoia" by Alan Cassels in the New Internationalist: November, 2003.


The Kiplinger Monitor: Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine: March, 2000.


"GlaxoSmithKline Merger Completed as Trading for New Company Begins"  article in Chemical Market Reporter: January 1, 2001


"Pharmaceutical Industry Spends Heavily to Support Republican Candidates"  article in Chemical Market Reporter: November 13, 2000.


"Have pharmaceutical companies been unfair to American consumers?" by Alan F. Holmer.[ii]


"Medicating passion" by Kathleen O'Grady in Herizons: Spring, 2003.


"Ethical assessment of industry-sponsored clinical trials" by Franklin G. Miller, Andrew F. Shorr in Chest: April, 2002.


"Pharmaceutical profits and the discovery of new medicines" by F.M. Scherer[iii] in American Enterprise: June, 2002.


"Merck's Rx: People First" by Tonya Vinas in Industry Week: August 13, 2001.


[i] CEO Pfizer.

[ii] President of PhRMA

[iii] Aetna Professor of Public Policy Emeritus at Harvard University.

"White Rabbit" by Grace Slick

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New Ceutical City Pharmers Official 2004 Team Roster
URL: http://www.cosmicbaseball.com/04npr.html
Published: February 29, 2004
email: editor@cosmicbaseball.com