Hello, everyone, and how are you today? We are just fine, thank you, although preparing for yet another steamy session here at the Pharmalot campus. But of course, this is to be expected, since it is summertime. So best to get on with it, yes? Toward that end, please join us for a cup of stimulation as you sort through the selection of tidbits below. Hope you have a cool and productive day …

People who have AIDS and are living longer pose a new challenge for drug makers, Bloomberg News reports. At issue is making medicines that subdue the illness without wreaking havoc on aging bodies, and minimizing the risk of harmful drug interactions for those who must take HIV drugs alongside pills for cholesterol, blood pressure, or diabetes. Moreover, the drive to simplify treatment could dramatically rearrange the competitive landscape.

A federal court judge in Texas reduced a $500 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy unit over allegedly defective Pinnacle hip implants to approximately $151 million, Reuters writes. The reduction was made to comply with a Texas state law limiting punitive damages according to a specific formula. The judge also denied J&J’s bid to set aside the verdicts and order a new trial.

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More than 49,000 people have filled prescriptions for PrEP — the preventive HIV treatment known as Truvada — at retail pharmacies in the US, but use remains low among black and Hispanic men who have the highest rates of new infections, the Bay Area Reporter tells us. However, the number of people receiving prescriptions at surveyed pharmacies underestimates the total number of PrEP users in the country.

A Pfizer leukemia drug called Bosulif won backing of the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence after agreeing to a discount, Bloomberg News reports. The drug maker is providing undisclosed concessions on the current price of $58,000 a year for treating each patient. This is also the first treatment to be reconsidered for coverage by the National Health Service as part of a plan to overhaul how the system pays for medicines.

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Merck appealed an order by a federal judge overturning a $200 million verdict it won in a patent case against Gilead Sciences over hepatitis C drugs on the grounds it engaged in extensive misconduct, Reuters writes.

KaloBios Pharmaceuticals signed an agreement with Martin Shkreli that includes an option for the company to repurchase his shares, and restricts his action as a shareholder.

Doctors wrote significantly fewer prescriptions for painkillers and other drugs for elderly and disabled patients who had legal access to medical marijuana, Reuters reports, citing a new study.

Nine of the 12 initial public offerings in the second quarter this year for life sciences companies raised a total of $534 million, according to the National Venture Capital Association.

UK life sciences minister George Freeman has created a working group to review the industry after Brexit, and it could lead to the country breaking away from the European drugs regulation system, Pharmaphorum says.

European regulators are no longer accepting clinical trial data from Alkem Laboratories to support drug approvals in Europe after an inspection revealed data misrepresentations, FDA News tells us.

Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, which develops and markets fast-melt formulations of medicines produced by 3-D printing technology, raised $30 million in a debt financing deal, the Philadelphia Business Journal says.

Zydus Cadila agreed with the Medicines Patent Pool to make a generic version of the Daklinza hepatitis C tablets sold by Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Business Standard writes.

Pfizer and Merck KGaA have begun a late-stage trial of their immuno-oncology drug in combination with standard treatment for ovarian cancer, according to Reuters.

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