What Wyden, Rifkin are charging; Issues in finding appropriate patients

What Wyden, Rifkin are charging

WASHINGTON - A congressional inquiry into human growth hormone marketing practices, sparked by the recent indictment of a Protropin distributor and a Genentech Inc. marketing executive, is being fueled with data from a group led by biotechnology critic Jeremy Rifkin.

Rep. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the Rifkin group's allegations that the two U.S. manufacturers of hGH, GNE and Eli Lilly and Co., have co-opted the non-profit Human Growth Foundation into promoting sales of GNE's Protropin and Lilly's Humatrope. Wyden also is pressing the government to pursue allegations that GNE or its agents are promoting off-label uses of Protropin, according to Steve Jenning, staff director of Wyden's subcommittee on regulation, business opportunities, and technology.

Wyden has limited his inquiries and requests for government action to GNE, because the company has 70 percent of the U.S. market, Jenning said. Lilly's share is about 30 percent.

Most of Wyden's information about the Human Growth Foundation and GNE's hGH marketing activities was supplied by Rifkin's Foundation on Economic Trends, said Jenning. He said Wyden plans to

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