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And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. And our agenda is rather modest. We plan to hang with the short people, one of whom has popped in for a visit, manicure the Pharmalot campus, and observe some ancient rituals. And what about you? This is a lovely time of year to enjoy the great outdoors. You can stock up the fridge — or the medicine cabinet — for the next great presidential debate. Or simply search for the Great Pumpkin. Well, whatever you do, have a grand old time, but be safe. Enjoy and see you soon …

Bernie Sanders will appear at a rally in Los Angeles Friday to generate support for a California ballot measure that would require state agencies to pay the same prices for prescription drugs as the US Department of Veterans Affairs. And on Saturday, both sides will debate the measure, which is being closely watched by policy makers and drug makers as anger grows at the cost of medicines.

Even as drug makers prepare to comply with a new US Food and Drug Administration program to limit antibiotic use in food-producing livestock, they are marketing the medicines to veterinarians and continuing to expand sales elsewhere around the world, Bloomberg News writes. Critics say such efforts will undermine the FDA program, which is designed to mitigate resistance to antibiotics.


The World Health Organization warned that efforts to fight the global tuberculosis epidemic are behind schedule, due to insufficient government action and investment. Investments in low- and middle-income countries fall almost $2 billion short of the $8.3 billion needed in 2016, and the gap will widen to $6 billion by 2020 if current levels of funding are not increased. About $1 billion more a year is needed in vaccine, diagnostic, and drug development.

India’s drug regulator plans to fast-track approvals for clinical trials, but also ensure that contract research organizations comply with stricter quality and compliance checks, the Times of India reports. So far, the government has halved clinical trial processing and approval times that previously might have taken up to a year and half. “The target is to reduce (the entire process) further by 30 percent to 40 percent,” an official says.


The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued draft guidelines rejecting funding for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo for non-small cell lung cancer, PharmaTimes writes. Instead, the drug maker should try to persuade the Cancer Drugs Fund, which covers new treatments while information is collected on how well drug actually work in patients, to cover the medicine.

Diabetics are about to see new insulins reach the market, but that may not automatically translate into savings for patients, according to STAT.

Pfizer may hunt for new mergers and acquisitions, but one Wall Street analyst believes the drug maker may be forced to overpay for some deals, Investor’s Business Daily tells us.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical may appeal an FDA rejection earlier this year of its drug for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Endpoints informs us.

A European Medicines Agency committee conditionally backed an AbbVie drug known as venetoclax to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia, according to Reuters.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is releasing salaries to erstwhile Ranbaxy Laboratories sales reps, but only if they use a company-provided software application to transmit activity reports, the Economic Times says.

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