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Hello, everyone, and how are you today? We are just fine, thank you, especially since we have made it to the middle of the week. Even during a shortened workweek, this is a milestone worth celebrating. So please join us as we quaff a few cups of stimulation — our flavor today is Hazelnut Creme, for those who care. And now, time to get cracking. Unlike the official mascots, our snoozing must wait. Here are a few tidbits to keep you moving. Hope you conquer the world and do drop us a line if you hear something intriguing …

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation is providing $7.2 million to four organizations to fund research and pilot programs to lower drug costs and lower financial burdens for patients, The Wall Street Journal writes. The largest grant recipients will be the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, which is led by Dr. Peter Bach, a vocal critic of high drug prices.

As ADHD meds are increasingly used as “study drugs” to boost cognitive performance, such use is increasingly linked to emergency room visits, says NPR, citing new research in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The study found that non-medical use of one such drug, Adderall, and generic versions rose 67 percent among adults between 2006 and 2011, while emergency room visits involving misuse increased from 862 visits in 2006 to 1,489 in 2011.


As more brand-name drug makers increasingly rely on revenue from drugs for serious and sometimes rare conditions, consumers are encountering more television ads for these higher-priced specialty drugs, The Wall Street Journal writes. “Having consumers ask about it puts pressure on insurers to cover it,” notes Robert Ehrlich, chief executive of DTC Perspectives, a consulting firm.

The Food and Drug Administration refused to accept an application from Catalyst Pharmaceuticals for its drug to treat Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome and asked the drug maker to provide additional information.


One of the whistleblowers who prompted the US Department of Justice to sue Pfizer for failing to provide discounts to Medicaid stands to collect $100 million of the $784 million settlement, The Financial Times says.

The FDA expanded the use of Gilead Sciences’ Harvoni hepatitis C treatment to patients who have an advanced stage of cirrhosis, Reuters reports.

AstraZeneca and Roche received breakthrough designation status from the FDA for medications to treat bladder cancer and multiple sclerosis, respectively, Pharma Times writes.

CTI Biopharma confirmed that a late-stage trial that was ended after patient deaths last week was conducted by a contract research organization and in-house researchers, Outsourcing Pharma says.

An experimental pain drug from Flexion Therapeutics was effective in a late-stage study, sending its stock soaring, according to Reuters.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have signed a pact to advance immuno-oncology research into rare cancers, according to Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

Drugstore health clinics may sound like an exciting strategy, but revenues will likely remain a small share of prescription revenues for pharmacy chains, Drug Channels predicts.