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And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. This is, as you know, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Before we do, however, we would like to kvell for a brief moment because one of our short people leaves Sugar Mountain today. How time flies, as they say. Anyway, our weekend agenda is modest. We will hang with the shortest of the short and indulge Mrs. Pharmalot with a special meal. We also hope to nap. But what about you? Winter is still upon us, but frolicking in the great outdoors is good for the soul. Conversely, you could curl up with a good e-book. Or make bets on the Iowa caucuses. Whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. See you soon …

Valeant Pharmaceuticals stock fell Thursday after the Hillary Clinton campaign put up a blog post describing large price hikes for a migraine drug sold by the company, Reuters writes. At an Iowa town hall, Clinton read from a letter saying the list price for 10 vials of the DHE 45 migraine drug rose to more than $14,000 in December from just over $3,000 in June of 2014. “This is predatory pricing. It is unjustified. It is wrong,” Clinton said.

The Food and Drug Administration approved a new Merck treatment for hepatitis C called Zepatier, ratcheting up competition among drug makers selling these treatments. The once-daily, single-tablet combination of two drugs is approved for patients infected with genotype 1, the most common type of hepatitis C in the United States, as well as the less common genotype 4. The Merck drug carries a lower list price than rival meds from AbbVie and Gilead Sciences.


Two former officials of a now-defunct Alabama compounding pharmacy called Meds IV have agreed to plead guilty to violating federal drug laws in preparing a contaminated intravenous drug that was tied to nine deaths, NBC News reports. A component of the drug was prepared in a large pot on the floor outside the normal work area, and was unrefrigerated in a room that was not sterile, court records indicated.

Roche’s Daniel O’Day, who heads the pharma business, is convinced the company’s oncology portfolio will not be affected by any moves Congress may make to respond to the clamor over high drug prices, Reuters writes.


Walgreens, which is the main retail partner for Theranos, is suspending some ties to the blood-testing company following critical FDA inspection report, The Wall Street Journal tells us.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a lawsuit claiming Gilead Sciences abused the patent system to block access to a 30-year-old antiviral agent used to treat HIV, Courthouse News Service says.

Johnson & Johnson is testing a new approach to treating depression by targeting inflammation in the body, rather than altering chemicals in the brain, STAT writes.

The FDA approved Eisai’s chemotherapy Halaven for treating liposarcoma, becoming the first therapy to show a survival benefit, Pharma Times reports.

An FDA inspection at a Wockhardt plant this month found a lack of controls to ensure only authorized personnel can change records and a bag of unaccounted shredded documents in a lab, The Economic Times writes.

Incyte is halting a mid-stage study of its combination Jakafi treatment after it failed to show it was effective in treating metastatic colorectal cancer, according to Reuters.

Sun Pharmaceuticals wants to sell several Ranbaxy brands that are a low priority in its domestic portfolio or overlap with its own products, The Economic Times tells us.