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nd so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, as you know, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Once again, our agenda is modest. We plan to rid the Pharmalot campus of the millions of leaves piling up, catch up on our napping, and hang with the shortest of our short people. And you? There is still time to enjoy the fall foliage. You could plan your menu for the Thanksgiving feast, or how to avoid it. Or if adventure is your goal, you could visit the gilded tower in New York where the next president may remain and watch the crowds and confusion. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time, but be safe. Enjoy and see you soon …

There has been a surge in the number of doctors who each prescribe millions of dollars of medications annually in the Medicare Part D drug program, due to expensive hepatitis C treatments and rising drug prices overall, ProPublica reports. Forty-one health providers prescribed more than $5 million in drugs in 2011. Last year, that jumped to 514. “The trends in this space are troubling and don’t show any signs of abating,” a federal official tells the news service.

Biotechs want Dr. Robert Califf to remain as Food and Drug Administration commissioner. “Rob Califf is almost universally regarded as a strong leader, and he could do a lot of good if he were left in his position … and I want to emphasize that this isn’t because he’s unduly friendly to industry,” Dr. Ron Cohen, chief executive at Acorda Therapeutics and chair of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, tells Regulatory Focus.

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Antibiotic use has fallen in England for the first time, according to a report from Public Health England. Total antibiotic consumption declined from 22.9 million daily doses to 21.8 doses per 1,000 people per day, a 4.3 percent drop. However, the report found a variation in the rates of resistance to antibiotics across England and prescribing predominantly occurs in general practice, followed by hospital inpatients and outpatients.

GlaxoSmithKline named a new executive for its China pharmaceuticals business, Bloomberg News writes. Thomas Willemsen will succeed Herve Gisserot, who led the company after a Chinese government probe into a bribery schemed ended in a $492 million fine in 2014. A pair of private eyes earlier this week sued the drug maker, claiming they were hired under false pretenses to investigate a whistleblower in China.

GlaxoSmithKline will begin an immunization campaign for its malaria vaccine in 2018 now that funding has been secured for Phase 1 pilot deployments, PharmaTimes reports.

The FDA has almost cleared a backlog of 4,000 excipient formulations in its Inactive Ingredient Database, according to InPharmaTechnologist.

The FDA approved a drug called Intrarosa, a once-daily vaginal insert designed to help alleviate moderate or severe pain during sexual intercourse in post-menopausal women, MedPage Today writes.

More than 40 insurance plans can continue with a lawsuit alleging GlaxoSmithKline misled them about the safety and effectiveness of drugs manufactured at a Puerto Rico plant that failed quality standards, Bloomberg News says.

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