Good morning, everyone, and apologies for the late start today. We encountered various technology and traffic challenges, unfortunately, but we are scrambling to get caught up. With that in mind, we are quaffing more cups of stimulation. As always, here is the menu of tidbits — and it is a long one. Hope your day goes well and, as always, please keep us in mind when you hear anything interesting.

Several drug makers hired their own auditors to perform compliance reviews that are required as part of government settlements over allegations of paying kickbacks or off-label drug promotion, Reuters reports. And the issue raises questions of conflicts of interest. “Work with a major company is an important contract, and an established contractor isn’t going to be independent,” Brandon Garrett, a University of Virginia School of Law professor said.

Drug makers are using ingenious methods to target children — bankrolling classroom lesson plans and comic books, hosting events with costumed characters, and promoting smartphone apps, STAT tells us. The efforts are aimed at teaching children and teenagers about various health conditions, and these are also conditions for which the companies have medications.

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Pharmaceutical industry backing for a G7 plan to preserve antibiotics is at odds with current marketing practices, according to an advocacy group that wants to end campaigns that promote overuse, InPharma Technologist reports. Health Action International argues that the product promotions may be exacerbating overuse and cited studies in India and China as evidence to consider marketing restrictions.

Medivation shareholders will be able to vote on Sanofi’s proposal to replace the drug maker’s board, the Wall Street Journal tells us. The company set next Wednesday as the so-called record date for its shareholders to vote. Sanofi recently made a $9.3 billion takeover bid that Medivation has rejected as undervalued. Unless the companies negotiate, securities regulators would have to clear their filings, paving the way for shareholders to vote.

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India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization is preparing new drug-inspection procedures to ensure good manufacturing practices, the Economic Times reports. The procedures will be based on a 40-page checklist covering such activities as manufacturing, sterilization, storage, packaging, and waste disposal. But the plan may differ from the risk-based inspection system followed by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Many Americans are avoiding drugs that can help treat osteoporosis and avoid fractures from weakened bones, because they fear rare side effects, the New York Times reports. A recent study found that the use of the most commonly prescribed osteoporosis drugs dropped by 50 percent from 2008 to 2012, and doctors say the trend is continuing. Meanwhile, professional physician societies are urging more aggressive treatment.

Johnson & Johnson is buying Vogue International for $3.3 billion, adding OGX shampoos and FX hair styling products to its consumer portfolio that includes Neutrogena and Clean & Clear, the Associated Press writes.

GlaxoSmithKline hopes to consolidate its lead in a new class of three-in-one inhaled lung drugs by filing its product in the US by the end of 2016, instead of the first half of 2018 as previously expected, Reuters reports.

The executives taking KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, which was once headed by Martin Shkreli, through bankruptcy protection could get $700,000 in equity awards from the company, the San Francisco Business Times says.

NantHealth, which is betting on so-called “big data” in personalized health care, priced its initial public offering of 6.5 million shares at $14 each, the Wall Street Journal writes.

India’s commerce ministry warned the drug controller that banning 344 fixed-dose combination drugs may put the country in a poor light, the Hindustan Times informs us.

Abbott Laboratories tried to end its $5.8 billion agreement to buy Alere after learning recently that the medical-testing company was caught up in a US probe of bribery overseas, Bloomberg News reports.

AstraZeneca sold European and Latin American rights to its new Zurampic gout drug to Gruenenthal for up to $230 million, two months after selling US rights to Ironwood Pharmaceuticals for up to $265 million, Reuters says.

Novartis opened a $1 billion research center outside of Shanghai that will house 1,300 people, becoming its third major research center after Basel, Switzerland, and Cambridge, Mass., Bloomberg News writes.

FDA told Megafine Pharma it must determine the extent of data falsification at a plant that was banned from shipping pharmaceutical ingredients to the US last year, according to Outsourcing Pharma.

A Johnson & Johnson diagnostic test for detecting the Ebola virus has been authorized by the FDA for emergency use in the event of a suspected outbreak, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The FDA approved a Roche liquid diagnostic test for detecting gene mutations associated with non-small-cell lung cancer, Reuters tells us.

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

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