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Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? Once again, a warm and shiny sun is enveloping the Pharmalot campus, where the short person has successfully left for the local schoolhouse and the official mascots have assumed their enviable positions for another round of snoozing. As for us, we are busy tackling our to-do list. No doubt, you can relate. So please join us for a cup of stimulation as we forge ahead. Hope you conquer the world today and do keep us in mind when something intriguing occurs …

One month after California proposed legalizing assisted suicide, Valeant Pharmaceuticals doubled the price of the medicine that is most often used by physicians, NPR tells us. In 2009, the price of a lethal dose of Seconal — 100 capsules — was less than $200. Over the next six years, it jumped to $1,500. But after Valeant bought the drug last February, the company immediately doubled the price to $3,000.

The orphan drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration are more innovative than other medicines, accounting for about 40 percent of so-called first-in-class drug approvals between 1983 and 2014, Regulatory Focus writes, citing a study in Health Affairs. On this basis, the study argues that legislative and regulatory efforts to promote the development of such drugs, which are used to treat rare diseases, is successful.


The UK Parliament is probing a decision to restrict access to a GlaxoSmithKline vaccine for combating meningitis B due to cost effectiveness, PharmaPhorum tells us. The move comes in response to patient groups who argue coverage should be broader than infants at high risk, underscoring the furious debate over the extent to which patient access to medicines clashes with budget constraints.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is paying up to $600 million for Padlock Therapeutics, which develops treatments for autoimmune diseases, The Wall Street Journal reports.


PTC Therapeutics is laying off 18 percent of its staff, or about 70 people, after the FDA last month rejected its drug for combating Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Roche, which is the world’s largest producer of cancer drugs, is pursuing more external partnerships to maintain its competitive edge, according to Bloomberg News.

The FDA has begun implementing a new procedure for drug makers pursuing a breakthrough therapy designation, according to the FDA Law Blog.

The FDA approved a Teva Pharmaceuticals drug called Cinqair for treating asthma in adults who have a history of severe attacks despite taking medication, Reuters writes.

Affymetrix, the DNA-testing company at the center of a takeover battle, will hold talks with Origin Technologies to discuss a new offer of $17 a share, Bloomberg News reports.

European regulators agreed to review Pfizer’s bid to market its Xeljanz 5-milligram twice-daily drug for treating moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in patients who did not respond to methotrexate, Pharma Times says.