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Hello, everyone, and welcome to the middle of the week. You made it this far, which deserves congratulations and a little nudge to keep forging ahead. And why not? Just consider the alternatives. On that note, please join us for a delicious cup of stimulation — in keeping with the looming autumn season, we are indulging our preference for pumpkin-flavored beans. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits. Hope you have a simply smashing day …

The mother of Mylan Pharmaceuticals chief executive Heather Bresch helped promote the EpiPen to schools, USA Today reports. After Gayle Manchin took over the National Association of State Boards of Education in 2012, she spearheaded “an unprecedented effort” to encourage states to require schools to buy devices that fight life-threatening allergic reactions. Some lawmakers are probing Mylan contracts with schools for antitrust violations.

Bresch will tell a congressional committee Wednesday that Mylan should have foreseen consumer concern over rising costs, STAT tells us. But one person who will not testify is her boss, Robert Coury, the Mylan executive chairman who oversaw the purchase of EpiPen a decade ago and remains closely involved in charting corporate strategy, Bloomberg News writes.


Meanwhile, the West Virginia attorney general launched an investigation into whether Mylan committed antitrust violations and defrauded Medicaid. Several US senators have already questioned whether the company paid Medicaid lower rebates for a generic product instead of the higher rebates that must be paid in connection with selling a brand-name product to the health care program.

Thirteen big drug makers promised to clean pollution from plants making antibiotics and take steps to curb overuse of the medicines as part of a drive to fight the rise of drug-resistant superbugs, Reuters reports. The announcement coincided with a high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance as part of the United Nations General Assembly. The companies that signed up include Pfizer, Merck, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Allergan, Cipla, and Wockhardt.


Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission will more closely monitor health care stocks for possible insider trading after noticing an increase in leaks of potentially market-moving information, Bloomberg News reports. The watchdog will, for instance, step up scrutiny of trading in pharma and biotech shares when news about clinical trials is released.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, will provide up to $132 million to The Medicines Co and up to $151 million to Roche to fund development of new antibiotics to fight drug-resistant infections, Reuters reports. “Our investments in this space … are really keeping the companies that are doing this at the table,” said Joe Larsen, BARDA’s acting deputy director.

One of the five organizations approved by New York state to grow and distribute medical marijuana is facing “financial constraints” that could threaten the two-year-old program, Politico New York reports.

The US Food and Drug Administration is holding a competition to develop an easy-to-use application to connect overdose victims with people carrying naloxone in hopes of treating an overdose quickly, Lachman Blog tells us. The prize is $40,000.

AstraZeneca pulled an application seeking European approval to sell an experimental drug for treating ovarian cancer after regulators raised questions, according to Reuters.

The FDA sent a warning letter to Hebei Yuxing Bio-Engineering over “persistent and unresolved” contamination problems at its plant since 2013, InPharma Technologist says.

European regulators endorsed an application that moves Bristol-Myers Squibb closer to marketing its Opdivo medicine for treating bladder cancer, PharmaTimes tells us.

Amgen reported its Repatha cholesterol drug met primary and secondary goals of a study designed to show it can decrease plaque buildup in heart arteries of patients already taking statins, Reuters writes.

  • Named for a classic chess opening I suggest that Heather Bresch employ the “Sicilian Defense”. This defense was successfully used by Michael Corleone in Godfather 2. Just as his capo Frankie Pentangeli was about to rat him out before Congress Michael flew in Frankie’s brother Vincenzo Pentangeli to appear at the hearing. Upon seeing his brother in the gallery Frankie clammed up and the prosecution lost their key witness. Likewise Heather’s mom should sit in the crowd to prevent any spontaneous utterances. Michael’s luck was the fraternal code of silence. Simply replace fraternal with maternal and Heather won’t have to say anything beyond saying she spent a few years working in the olive oil business.

    • Seriously, I agree with Bresch’s post hearing comment that it was a “cheap shot” to bring her mother into the story. As for her compensation she noted for the record that she is in the middle of the pay range for pharma CEO’s.

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