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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the middle of the week. Getting this far is an accomplishment, and so we are celebrating with a cup of stimulation. After all, consider the alternatives. Thankfully, the local water company is not drilling at our doorstep today, so we can attack our ever-growing to-do list. So time to get cracking. As always, we have assembled some tidbits for you to peruse. Have a productive day and do stay in touch …

A review by US Food and Drug Administration staffers questioned whether an experimental Merck drug is effective in treating Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals and nursing homes, Reuters writes. An FDA advisory panel meets Thursday to decide whether the drug should be recommended for approval.

Biogen suffered a setback as its first drug for repairing nerve damage in multiple sclerosis patients missed its primary goal in a mid-stage study, the Boston Globe writes. The failure cut its market value by more than $7 billion Tuesday because the drug maker wants to shift its R&D to treatments that can reverse the disease, not just slow its progression.


A market for imported lower-cost prescription drugs is growing in Florida, thanks to a population of older Americans and tolerant regulators, Kaiser Health News reports. There are about 15 storefront businesses across the state that claim to help thousands of people each year place online orders from pharmacies in Canada and elsewhere for medicines at prices that are as much as 70 percent less than what might be paid in the US.

An FDA advisory panel recommended approval for a Teva Pharmaceutical long-acting opioid painkiller, called Vantrela ER, because data showed it has some abuse-resistant properties, Reuters says.


Sanofi filed documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission indicating it plans to remove the board at Medivation by Aug. 1 as part of its $9.3 billion bid to acquire the drug maker, which has rejected its overtures.

Novartis plans head-to-head trials comparing its Cosentyx biologic with AbbVie’s Humira in patients with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, Pharma Times writes.

The FDA warned that higher than recommended doses of the Imodium diarrhea drug can cause serious and even fatal cardiac arrhythmias, MedPage Today tells us.

Indian authorities agreed to approve Pfizer’s Ibrance breast cancer drug on the condition that the company will conduct Phase 4 trials on 100 patients within 15 months and submit the data, the Business Standard says.

Abbott Laboratories reached a settlement with a woman who filed a lawsuit claiming its Depakote drug for treating seizures and bipolar disorder caused a serious spinal condition in her son.