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Hello, everyone, and welcome to the middle of the week. You made is this far, so why not continue, yes? After all, consider the alternatives. While you ponder the possibilities, please join us for a delicious cup of stimulation. Remember, no prescription is required. We are sampling Rain Forest Nut today, for those tracking this sort of thing. And now, on to the to-do list. As always, we have assembled a few items of interest to help you along. Hope your day goes well and do keep us in mind for tidbits, tips, and the like …

Martin Shkreli hired Benjamin Brafman, who has represented such high-profile personalities as former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, as his new attorney, according to a court filing. He replaces lawyers from Arnold & Porter. The move comes as Shkreli is expected to testify Thursday at a congressional hearing on drug pricing and as an unrelated securities fraud prosecution gears up.

A trial is now underway in which Johnson & Johnson faces claims that its talcum powder caused some women to develop ovarian cancer, Bloomberg News tells us. The family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer argues the company knew for decades that talc was linked to the cancer. The verdict may set a tone for whether J&J continues to fight or agrees to settle the roughly 1,200 lawsuits that have been filed concerning the baby powder.


Axovant stock took a beating after Pfizer shelved an Alzheimer’s drug due to a lack of benefit to patients and investors fear this hurts the little biotech, which is developing a treatment that works in a similar way, TheStreet informs us. Axovant gained an unusually high profile last June when it launched an initial public offering that initially valued the company at $3 billion, based on the uncertain prospects of its Alzheimer’s compound.

A survey of about 3,000 brand-name prescription medicines shows that prices more than doubled for 60 of these products and at least quadrupled for 20 drugs since December 2014, according to Bloomberg News. “The data shows that price increases are an integral part of the business plan,” said Jim Yocum, executive vice president at DRX, a provider of price-comparison software to health plans, which ran the numbers.


Meanwhile, drug makers this year may launch as many as seven blockbuster drugs, which are those with the potential to generate at least $1 billion in annual sales, according to Reuters.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals will pay Howard Schiller, its interim chief executive officer, $400,000 a month while Michael Pearson, the current CEO, recovers from severe pneumonia, according to this filing with regulators.

Gilead Sciences is hunting for acquisitions to motor growth as sales of its blockbuster hepatitis C treatments are forecast to be flat or stable this year in light of new competition, Bloomberg News writes.

Roche approached Pacific Biosciences of California about a potential acquisition, reflecting interest in its gene-sequencing technology, according to Reuters.

Aurobindo Pharma said the Food and Drug Administration issued a inspection review for one of its two manufacturing facilities, The Economic Times.

AstraZeneca says the European Union granted early approval for its Tagrisso lung cancer pill, just three months after US regulators endorsed the drug, Reuters says.

Teva Pharmaceutical may eliminate up to 80 jobs as it overhauls its sterile manufacturing site near Liverpool in the UK, InPharma Technologist reports.