Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and health care issues, announced its list of the top five key healthcare events of 2005.

  5.  Reference pricing for statins begins in Germany -- government imposed       price represents the highest level of reimbursement for a drug, if a       drug price exceeds the reference price, patients are required to pay       the difference out-of-pocket. Pfizer fought reference pricing for       their drug in court, called Sortis in Germany (Lipitor in most other       markets), and lost.    4.  The approval of NitroMed's BiDil for the treatment of heart failure in        African-American patients -- the first agent ever to receive FDA       approval based on its performance in a particular race.    3.  Biogen Idec and Elan withdrawal of Tysabri for the treatment of       multiple sclerosis -- hailed by physicians and industry analysts as a       promising new approach to treating the disease, it was found that 3       patients being treated with the drug developed a rare and often fatal       viral infection.    2.  Medicare Part D -- final regulations released and enrollment begins --        the large coverage gap has provoked widespread criticism that the plan        does not sufficiently achieve its goals of expanding available drug       coverage to Medicare beneficiaries, many of whom have large       prescription drug bills and will need to fund much of the cost of       their medications.    And the number one key healthcare event that happened in 2005:    1.  Vioxx Withdrawal Prompts FDA Reform and Legal Battles  

"The first 3 trials that Merck defended against ended in a loss, a win, and a mistrial -- they face thousands more," said Jennifer Moniz Carpenter, research program manager at Decision Resources. "Merck found itself financially strained by the ongoing legal battles and, at the end of November, announced a reorganization that eliminated 7,000 jobs throughout the company and closed five manufacturing plants."

A full discussion of the top ten major healthcare events of 2005 can be found in the new Spectrum article entitled 2005 News in Review: Important Changes for the Pharmaceutical Industry.

About Spectrum

Spectrum is an executive advisory service that identifies and analyzes key business and technology drivers of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. Spectrum is a mix of publications and telephone inquiry access to analysts that provides an "over the horizon" perspective on complex healthcare issues.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources, Inc., ( is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Elizabeth Marshall   Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2563 

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc., +1-781-296-2563,

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