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Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? We’d like to welcome you to our new format here at STAT, which is also unveiling a new premium subscription for some of our content. The media business poses some interesting challenges, as you know, and so we hope you will find our efforts worth the price of admission. Please feel free to write with questions, suggestions, and criticism, too. Of course, this calls for a cup of stimulation. Meanwhile, here are a few items of interest. Have a grand day and, as always, do keep in touch …

The US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker wrote to a senior aide of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling on Tokyo to reconsider a plan that would allow more frequent pharmaceutical price cuts, the Wall Street Journal reports. The US is “disappointed” by the plan to reduce drug prices, which raises “serious concerns about the incentive structure for health-care products, as well as about the market’s predictability and transparency.” Last month, a council headed by Abe told the government to consider price reviews annually instead of every two years.


Teva Pharmaceuticals disclosed that Siggi Olafsson is retiring as head of the global generics business, raising concerns among some Wall Street watchers. The move comes shortly after Teva acquired the Allergan generics business, which concerns Sanford Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal. “It is not good news that a senior executive is departing when the job is not done,” he wrote investors. “The biggest risk, in our view, is that the team falls apart and that will set the business adrift again.” Olafsson will be replaced by Dipankar Bhattacharjee, who ran the generics business in Europe.

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