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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. And this will be a long weekend on this side of the pond, thanks to a holiday. Our agenda is rather modest. We hope to spend time with our shortest person, promenade with the official mascots, tidy up around the castle, and catch up on our reading. And what about you? You could reach out to someone special, enjoy the great outdoors, see if your air conditioners and grill still work, or simply do nothing. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time, but be safe. Enjoy and see you soon …

Three drug makers have now disclosed receiving subpoenas as part of a widening federal investigation into the relationships between pharmaceutical companies and charities that help people afford their medicines, Bloomberg News tells us. Gilead Sciences, Biogen, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals have received subpoenas this year for documents related to these nonprofits, according to regulatory filings.


Valeant Pharmaceuticals rejected a joint takeover overture recently from Takeda Pharmaceutical and the TPG private-equity firm, the Wall Street Journal reports. The deal would have involved Takeda taking the Salix Pharmaceuticals business, which includes a drug to treat irritable bowel syndrome and other stomach disorders, while TPG would have taken much of the company.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is urging world leaders to create a $1.6 billion global fund to reward drug makers that develop antibiotics for fighting superbugs, the Financial Times says. The move comes after Jim O’Neill, a former Goldman Sachs chief economist, last week issued a proposal calling for rewarding drug makers with $1 billion for developing new treatments, but also taxing those companies that fail to conduct antibiotic research.

AstraZeneca said the US Food and Drug Administration would not approve its new drug for high potassium due to a manufacturing issue and approval will be delayed until 2017, Reuters writes. The medicine was a key product in the $2.7 billion deal last year in which AstraZeneca acquired ZS Pharma. The news overshadowed positive results from a clinical trial of its Faslodex treatment for breast cancer.


The FDA approved the first implant that continuously dispenses the buprenorphine opioid addiction medication, which lasts up to six months, STAT tells us. Until now, buprenorphine was only approved as a pill or a film placed under the tongue or on inside a person’s cheek until it dissolved. These routes are effective, but may also be lost, forgotten or stolen.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission plans to conduct wide-ranging pricing inspections on drug makers, hospitals, blood banks, industry groups, and procurement organizations starting next week, Reuters informs us. The move extends what is seen as a tough, cost-cutting campaign to reduce the price of health care. “The focus will be on abnormal price fluctuations of bulk medicines and various types of drugs,” the NDRC said.

An advisory panel to the European Medicines Agency recommended approval of a Gilead Sciences’ new drug combination to treat hepatitis C, Reuters says.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) opposes efforts by Democrats to include more funding for the FDA as part of a Senate companion bill to House’s 21st Century Cures Act, BioCentury reports.

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published draft guidelines rejecting Eli Lilly’s new Portrazza lung cancer treatment, according to Pharma Times.

Lung cancer patients treated with radiation at hospitals with higher rates of clinical trial participation fared significantly better compared to those at centers with low participation, writers Reuters, citing a study.

Roche has taken India’s drug pricing watchdog, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, to court over the ceiling price fixed for its Herceptin breast cancer drug, the Economic Times says.