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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the middle of the week. This marks a small milestone, if only because you made it this far. So why not continue, yes? After all, consider the alternatives. This calls for a celebration, so please join us for a cup or two of stimulation. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits to get you going, since the middle of the week is usually such a busy time. Hope you have a smashing day and do stay in touch …

Will the US Senate vote to confirm Dr. Robert Califf as the next Food and Drug Administration commissioner? After months of concerns about his ties to the pharmaceutical industry, his involvement in a controversial clinical trial of the Xarelto blood thinner, and anger expressed by some senators over FDA policy toward opioids, a vote will be held Wednesday morning. And you can watch the proceedings right here.


Kyle Bass, who angered the pharmaceutical industry by challenging many patents, has returned most of the $700 million he raised last year for his high-profile campaign, The Financial Times reports. His firm, Hayman Capital Management, saw more than half of its patent challenges tossed before getting a hearing at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Now, about only $80 million remains of the funds used to short drug stocks.

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