Merck

Now that the Night of the Roundtable is behind us, the primary campaign is moving into the phase when money and ads will matter more than Jon Huntsman's curious sense of humor or Michelle Bachmann's numerology.

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The Permanent Candidate

What’s driving Rick Perry?

What’s driving Rick Perry?

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The Republican catchphrase of the moment is "crony capitalism." This is odd, because Republicans don't usually like to disparage capitalism in any form.

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On Sunday afternoon—just 24 hours after Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his presidential candidacy—an email arrived in my inbox titled, “14 Reasons Why Rick Perry Would Be a Really, Really Bad President.” The article contained in the email took such a harsh tone toward Perry, I assumed, for a brief moment, that a liberal interest group was quickly jumping on the newest entrant in the Republican presidential field. In turns out, however, that the piece was the product of a right-wing website called The American Dream.

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Study Break

It’s not news that the pharmaceutical industry routinely suppresses negative data, with the effect of exaggerating the benefits of its drugs and glossing over their risks. Take, for example, the painkiller Vioxx. According to court testimony, the drug’s manufacturer, Merck, withheld data showing that the drug caused five times as many heart attacks as a similar painkiller, naproxyn. The result? Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety expert David Graham calculated that Vioxx caused an estimated 39,000 to 60,000 heart-attack deaths before it was pulled from the market in 2004.

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