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Rise and shine, everyone, another busy day is on the way. Busy for some people, anyway. Now that the local schoolhouse has emptied out, the shortest of our short people is slumbering for exceedingly long hours. We are jealous and taking comfort in a cup of stimulation. You are invited to join us, of course. Remember, no prescription is required. And now, time for the tidbits. Have a lovely day and drop us a line when something newsy pops …

AstraZeneca will write down $80 million in inventory after a federal advisory committee on immunization voted to retract its endorsement of the FluMist vaccine. Preliminary study results showed it provided no protection from the flu strain that made most people sick last year, STAT tells us. Two years ago, health officials advised doctors to use FluMist on children instead of traditional flu shots whenever possible.


Numerous companies, trade groups and universities who fear many important discoveries may no longer qualify for patents are urging the US Supreme Court to review the cancellation of a patent on a less risky form of prenatal testing, Reuters writes. Next Thursday, the court will consider whether to take the case involving a Sequenom  patent, which was thrown out in 2013 during infringement litigation with Ariosa Diagnostics, a unit of Roche.

Mylan President Rajiv Malik argues the Indian pharmaceutical industry is starting to get frustrated with the US Food and Drug Administration, Bloomberg News reports. The companies are upset over a lack of transparency in the process for resolving sanctions after the agency last year halted new product approvals at numerous plants. “There’s a timeline but there’s no transparency about the timeline,” he complained.

Despite looming competition for its older cancer medicines, Roche chief executive Severin Schwan says he is sleeping “much better,” following positive news about three new drugs, Reuters writes. The drug maker won breakthrough status from US regulators for a multiple sclerosis drug, won marketing approval for an immunocology medicine to treat bladder cancer, and had study results showing its Gazyva blood cancer drug worked better than an older treatment.


Drug and biotechnology stocks surged Wednesday after Medicare’s Board of Trustees said that a cost-cutting mechanism created under Obamacare, which is known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board, will likely be triggered in 2017, but not this year as some investors had anticipated, Bloomberg News tells us. Wall Street was concerned that Medicare payments to drug makers would have begun (here is the Medicare report).

Sanofi may improve its $9.3 billion takeover offer for Medivation by committing to making future payments if the biotech company meets certain targets, Bloomberg News reports.

Allergan is increasingly using celebrities to promote its products, including TV and stage star Lea Michele, movie star Kate Bosworth, and reality-TV personality Khloé Kardashian, Medical Marketing & Media says.

The UK pharmaceutical industry reiterated support for Great Britain to remain in the European Union, according to PharmaTimes.

China is luring Indian drug makers to establish operations there by offering tax benefits and talking up access to the infrastructure and workforce, the Economic Times reports.

The FDA approved Opko Health’s kidney disease drug, which was delayed almost three months due to problems at a plant run by its Catalent contract manufacturer, InPharma Technologist informs us.

Sun Pharmaceutical is recalling up to 2,839 bottles of the Nitrofurantoin antibacterial medicine due to failed dissolution specifications, the Economic Times confides.

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended Benlysta for treating systemic lupus erythematosus, but only if GlaxoSmithKline agrees to provide the drug at a discount, PharmaTimes says.

A US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel recommend the newly FDA-approved cholera vaccine from PaxVax for use in adult travelers, MedPage Today reports.