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Hello, everyone, and how are you today? We are just fine, thank you. The Pharmalot campus is notably quiet this morning, since the shortest of the short people has left for the local schoolhouse, the official mascots are snoozing away, and the local water company has stopped its nearby drilling. This leaves us time to concentrate on our to-do list. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits. Have a great day and please keep in touch …

Drug makers are routinely criticized for pricing the poorest people out of life-saving drugs, but AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot believes when it comes to cancer drugs, this is unfair. “In some cases, it’s not realistic,” he tells the BBC. “In some parts of Africa, we could give our products away and it would make no difference. It is not only a question of medicine, it is a question of infrastructure. Where is the hospital? Where is the doctor?”

The BIO industry trade group plans a counteroffensive against criticism of industry pricing practices, Bloomberg News tells us. “Our industry has become an easy scapegoat for the real and growing problem of patient access to affordable new medications,” Jim Greenwood, BIO chief executive, told a convention crowd in San Francisco. “My friends, we are fighting back.”

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Hillary Clinton supports, in principle, an Obama administration plan to overhaul Medicare Part B to lower reimbursement for drugs that are administered in hospitals and change the way physician offices are reimbursed, the Morning Consult confides. But at the same time, one of her advisers noted Clinton also suggests making some changes to the proposal, which has engendered strong opposition from some lawmakers and doctors, among others.

A US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended approval of Pfizer’s abuse-resistant opioid painkiller, Reuters writes. The panel endorsed claims made by Pfizer that its drug, called Troxyca ER, can deter injecting and snorting. But the panel expressed reservations about the ability of the drug to curb all forms of abuse and voted against a claim that the medicine can deter oral abuse.

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Bayer is disappointed that the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence will only support use of its Eylea therapy to treat a common cause of visual impairment as a second-line treatment, PharmaTimes says.

Aspen Pharmacare, which is Africa’s largest generic drug maker, agreed to pay up to $770 million to buy anesthetic products from AstraZeneca, Bloomberg News says.

A court in Portugal upheld a $3.4 million fine against Abbott Laboratories, which appealed a price-fixing ruling that was issued in 2005, writes Global Competition Review.

An experimental Amgen drug for preventing chronic migraines met the main goal of a mid-stage study by reducing the number of monthly attacks compared with a placebo, Reuters writes.

China’s Food and Drug Administration last year inspected less than half the number of drug makers compared with 2014, according to Regulatory Focus, citing a new report.

Roche was granted approval in Europe to market Avastin in combination with Tarceva for patients with EGFR-positive non-small cell lung cancer, PMLive says.

  • Jim Greenwood is a tool of the pharmaceutical industry. I was once “asked” by a superior to contribute $1000 to Greenwood’s reelection campaign a number of years ago. I didn’t know Greenwood but I made the donation anyway under the belief that the money would come back to me in some way. Two things ensued: 1) Greenwood was elected, 2) I never saw the money.

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