Drug Companies Get No Credit Even for 'Lifesaver' Drug

"A new drug that proved to be so effective so quickly, the approval process was sped up," lauded CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric on March 13.

Couric and other reporters had reason to praise the newly FDA-approved drug Tykerb. The drug is approved for treatment of a specific kind of breast cancer, called HER-2 positive, and is showing tremendous promise.

Cancer patient Marsha Brekke told ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" that the drug was her last chance. Brekke has been cancer free for more than a year.

But what all three networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, left out of the evening newscasts on March 13 was any mention of the company that developed this breakthrough drug.

The company, GlaxoSmithKline, deserved credit for its 16 years of research to develop Tykerb, likely at a very high cost, but wasn't given any by the networks. Unfortunately, this is not unusual. The Business & Media Institute special report: Prescription for Bias states that the pharmaceutical industry is missing from nearly 80 percent of stories about prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

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Julia A. Seymour's picture