And so, another working week is about to draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? As always, this is our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Unfortunately, we foresee spending considerable time fortifying our castle from a looming snowstorm. So picture this — a shovel in one hand and a cup of stimulation in the other. And what about you? Depending upon your locale, you may also encounter the same conditions. Are you ready? As for the rest of you, perhaps this is a good time to catch up with someone special, take a nap, or simply take stock. Whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. See you soon …

Amid increased rancor over prescription drug prices, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent more on lobbying last year, The Hill says. Citing data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the trade group shelled out $18.3 million in 2015, up from $16.5 million the year before. And last year was also the first since 2009 since the trade group increased its lobbying spending.

Senators Ron Wyden and Chuck Grassley are asking health care providers and patient groups for reactions to their recently released report on the price of the Sovaldi hepatitis C treatment, which triggered anger over the cost of medicines. Citing a raft of documents, the lawmakers concluded that Gilead Sciences (GILD) placed profits before patients in setting the price. In their letter, they ask for thoughts on value and pricing transparency, among other things.

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AstraZeneca (AZN) chief executive officer Pascal Soriot believes the drug maker would not have made as much progress in developing new cancer drugs had it been acquired by Pfizer (PFE), The Financial Times writes. While defending against the takeover bid, he made some aggressive growth targets, such as increasing revenue to $40 billion by 2023, but Soriot maintained that the company is on track to reach that goal.

Martin Shkreli asked a congressional committee seeking his testimony on drug pricing to guarantee it will not be used in a federal prosecution of securities fraud, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Alkermes reported that two late-stage studies of a depression treatment failed to meet their primary endpoints, wiping out nearly $4 billion from its market value, The Wall Street Journal informs us.

Stefano Pessina, the Walgreens (WBA) Boots Alliance chief executive officer, believes that drug prices should be lower for consumers, Bloomberg News writes.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Amgen’s (AMGN) Kyprolis cancer med in combination with other therapies to treat patients with multiple myeloma, Reuters reports.

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the cost-effectiveness overseer, endorsed the use of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo in skin cancer patients, Bloomberg News tells us.

Nephron Pharmaceuticals plans to lay off 250 employees from its Orlando, Fla., headquarters, where manufacturing is being shifted out of state, The Orlando Business Journal writes.

Pfizer’s Ibrance breast cancer treatment has completed the first step to joining the UK’s Early Access to Medicines Scheme, Pharma Times writes.

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