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WASHINGTON — Drug makers are about to lose a key ally in Washington.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a longtime advocate for the drug industry, announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of his term this year. Across a four-decades-long career in the Senate, Hatch used influential positions atop the Finance Committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Judiciary Committee to advance the industry’s major policy priorities.

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