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Attorneys for Biogen and Roche announced in March, 2010 that its latest arthritis drug testing was suspended due to safety concerns.  While the company would have preferred another solution, it and its lawyers recognized the potential harm and made the right call. A. Harrison Barnes, founder, says “The company made the right decision, even as it recognized the potential long term effects on the bottom line”.

The drug, ocrelizumab, had been suspended from the testing procedure once before when it was being considered as a viable treatment for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Sales were expected to be close to $2 billion had it been approved. This latest pullback will surely have unwanted repercussions on the company’s profits, but Hal Barron, Roche’s chief medical officer, agreed with the company’s legal team. In comments released to the media, he says, “Patient safety is of the utmost importance in all our drug development programs. In light of the DSMB recommendations, we have decided to suspend ocrelizumab treatment in the rheumatoid arthritis clinical development program”.

For now, the two companies are debating whether to continue the testing once safety issues have been addressed. Currently, the team of lawyers and medical professionals are awaiting detailed analyses of the data and are not expected to make a final decision for the next few weeks, at least. In a time when companies are ruled by profit expectations, seeing one do the right thing – time and again – highlights the absence of ethics in so many other companies. A. Harrison Barnes points out that while the news is disappointing, it wasn’t unexpected. “The company has placed on hold other trials for the drug’s safety.” The founder continues, “…with so many suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis, ideally, the company will be able to address the safety issues and continue to develop a drug that will help the 1.3 million Americans who suffer from the debilitating disease. Regardless, their legal team is certainly providing exceptional leadership and advice as the company continues to make wise decisions”.

Many recent graduates are considering going into corporate law that specializes in the medical field. There are those who often work exclusively for drug companies while others prefer to represent medical facilities, hospitals and physicians. Regardless of which specialty a lawyer chooses as his life’s work, this particular field is especially rewarding and quite lucrative, too. Visit and see for yourself why lawyers across the country trust their careers to the employment experts. View the open positions in law firms of every size and located throughout the country, read the article database or allow the team of resume experts assist you in your resume preparations. There’s no better way of combining the legal system and the medical system.

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