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And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Once again, our agenda is rather modest. We plan to spend time with our short person, catch up on sundry tasks, and check in on the Pharmalot ancestors. And what about you? You could file those tax returns, visit garage sales in search of bargains now that spring is here, or simply plan the rest of your life. Whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. See you soon …

Global drug makers are warning they will reduce research spending in Japan due to new rules requiring them to slash prices on some big-selling medicines, Reuters says. For example, prices will be cut by as much as 50 percent for drugs with annual Japan sales exceeding the equivalent of $1.34 billion and that are 30 percent over estimates that manufacturers file with the government.

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals is reconsidering plans to expand in North Carolina after the state passed a law it considers discriminatory against transgender people, North Carolina News reports. Just two weeks ago, the drug maker announced plans to invest $20 million to open a manufacturing facility and create 52 jobs over the next five years. Now, though, the company says its “reevaluating our options based on the recent unjust legislation.”

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April Fools’ came a day early for Pfizer. The drug maker said a press release about pricing that was issued Thursday was fake and falsely attributed to the company. Pfizer said the release, which linked to a fake website, was issued anonymously and “erroneously” attributed to the company. An investigation is underway, and Pfizer may pursue legal action against those involved. The Washington Post briefly ran a story based on the release, which claimed Pfizer vowed not to raise list prices on its drugs, but later pulled it.

An initial investigation into the Turkish unit of Novartis over allegations it benefited from bribery did not reveal any problems, a senior official for the health ministry told Reuters. The results of the investigation are expected to be released next week. The probe came shortly after the drug agreed to pay $25 million to settle charges that it violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in China and South Korean authorities raided Novartis offices.

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Johnson & Johnson faces more than 1,000 lawsuits charging it knew of an association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer for years and failed to warn the public, Bloomberg News writes in an in-depth look at the issues. “Whether or not the science indicates that Baby Powder is a cause of ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson has a very significant breach of trust,” Julie Hennessy, a marketing professor at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, tells the news service. “In trying to protect this one business, they’ve put the whole J&J brand at risk.”

Valeant Pharmaceuticals executives and board members received cease trade orders from the Canadian securities regulator due to missed deadlines for filing its annual report and other documents, the Wall Street Journal tells us. Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Valeant’s debt rating and sent them deeper into speculative-grade, or “junk,” status, MarketWatch notes.

Indian regulators fixed or revised the ceiling price of 103 drugs, including the Sovaldi hepatitis C treatment made by Gilead Sciences, The Economic Times tells us.

Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said an experimental drug for treating atopic dermatitis met all of its major targets in two late-stage studies, the Wall Street Journal writes.

Sun Pharmaceutical plans to close a Ranbaxy Laboratories plant in Ireland and eliminate about 100 jobs, according to the Irish Times.

French regulators found that an Anuh Pharma active ingredients processing plant in India breached good manufacturing practices, InPharma Technologist says.

An Indian patent office rejected an application by Vertex Pharmaceuticals for its Orkambi cystic fibrosis treatment because it lacked novelty, according to TwoFour Insight.