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And so, another working week is about to draw to a close. This is, as you know, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Once again, our agenda is rather modest. We hope to spend time with the shortest of short people and visit the Pharmalot ancestors. Of course, catching up on reading and a few naps are also in order. And what about you? Tis the season to ready your taxes, you know. Or if you prefer to procrastinate, you can always watch a moving picture show or make time for someone special. Whatever you do, have a grand time, but be safe. See you soon …

What will Dr. Robert Califf do now that he survived a US Senate vote to become the next Food and Drug Administration commissioner? He tells The Washington Post that the agency will accelerate a focus on generics as one way to address the debate over the cost of medicines. Also, he will use his “bully pulpit” to combat the opioid epidemic and try to do “a better job of explaining its decisions and policies on all fronts.”

A clinical trial in France that left one person dead and five others hospitalized last month had already caused the deaths of dogs in earlier tests, The Telegraph reports. But the company that makes the drug, Bial, has refused to reveal details of the animal tests that were carried out before the treatment was tested on people by Biotrial, a clinical research organization, which claimed the deaths were “not significant.”


The Indian Patent Office is set to begin hearings to determine whether Gilead Sciences can claim a patent for its Sovaldi hepatitis C treatment, India Infoline writes. The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge argues that Sovaldi, which has been at the center of a debate over prescription drug pricing, was not a significant improvement compared with an earlier compound developed by another company and, so, did not meet the standard for a patent.

Pfizer is trying to dodge $35 billion in taxes by merging with Allergan, which is domiciled in Ireland, and shifting its headquarters there, according to Bloomberg News, citing a report from a consumer group.


Alfred Mann, the investor and philanthropist who championed numerous medical products, including the controversial Afrezza inhaled insulin, died yesterday at age 90, The Los Angeles Times writes.

McKesson Corp. is buying two privately held cancer care service providers, Vantage Oncology and Biologics, for a total of $1.2 billion to add muscle to its specialty health business, Investor’s Business Daily says.

Baxalta and Precision BioSciences signed a deal worth up to $1.7 billion to develop a series of CAR-T cell treatments aimed at addressing major unmet needs in various cancers, Pharma Times tells us.

India’s National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority warned drug makers after finding that prices of more than 4,700 medicines were set beyond established limits, The Economic Times reports.

The European Medicines Agency accepted an application from Gilead Sciences to market its hepatitis B treatment to adults, according to Pharma Times.