Good morning,  everyone, and how are you today? A bright, shiny sun is enveloping the Pharmalot campus, although it is not yet enough to counteract the bitter cold. In fact, our short person, who is under the weather, is staying home to avoid the frosty air. As for us, we are keeping warm with cups of stimulation — our flavor this week is Mocha Java for those keeping track. Meanwhile, here are a few items of interest. Have a smashing day and keep in touch …

Rising drug prices contributed to a 2.2 percent increase in pharmacy spending for American workers’ compensation payers last year, according to a report from Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefits manager. Opioids were the costliest type of medicine at $450.90 per-user-per-year, although on average, injured workers received 2.91 opioid prescriptions per year — down from 3.33 prescriptions in 2014.

Gilead Sciences is paying $400 million to buy a subsidiary of Nimbus Therapeutics, which is developing a drug to treat an non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, which is an increasingly common metabolic disorder that causes life-threatening fat buildup in the liver, the Associated Press writes. NASH can cause inflammation, cell damage, progressive scarring, and cirrhosis of the liver, and affects up to 15 million Americans.

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The Indian Supreme Court is seeking a response from the Health Ministry concerning allegations that Ranbaxy Laboratories supplied adulterated drugs in the country, the Economic Times reports. A so-called Public Interest Litigation was filed by a consumer advocate who seeks to shut down three plants run by Ranbaxy, which is now owned by Sun Pharmaceutical.

Sanofi launched the first public immunization program for dengue fever and plans to administer the world’s first licensed vaccine to 1 million schoolchildren, the Associated Press says.

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Catalent missed its forecast for returning a suspended softgel facility back to full production, but says production of essential drugs has begun at the French plant, Outsourcing Pharma reports.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Descovy, a combination HIV drug developed by Gilead Sciences, according to Business Insider.

Even as Indian regulators are upgrading their review standards, plant inspection reports show that Indian facilities had a high rate of data integrity issues last year, PharmaBiz writes.

Pfizer reported positive Phase 3 trial results with its PCSK9-inhibitor cholesterol-lowering drug bococizumab, paving the way for a regulatory filing in coming months, PMLive tells us.

UK regulators say that an Indian plant run by Rusan Pharma continue to break regulatory rules due to quality-control issues, according to InPharma Technologist.

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine

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