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Hello, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was exhilarating and restful, because that familiar routine of meetings, deadlines, and whatnot has returned. You knew this would happen, though, so please join us as we cope with a few cups of stimulation. Our choice is Wild Mountain Blueberry, for those keeping track. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits to help you along. Hope you have a smashing day and do keep in touch …

The head of global R&D at Sanofi warns that uncertainty over pricing is making it hard to value acquisition targets. “There is a lot of uncertainty right now in the values of all companies because of pricing issues in the US … in particular, but worldwide,” Elias Zerhouni tells the Financial Times. “And so when you see the values that are being paid you question yourself as to the sustainability of those values, given the uncertainty in the pricing environment.”

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  • This is what might happen when you enroll as a healthy adult in the Novartis trial:
    1) you have been accepted into the trial because you have a double dose of the apoE4 allele, which may confer higher risk of AZ, but has such poor predictive value that it is not used outside of research settings.

    2) you may well never develop Alzheimer’s Disease but you 5/8 chance (according to of being given a powerful medication with potential serious side effects.

    3) you have to be 65 to get in, so that you likely have life insurance and perhaps long term care insurance.

    4) with their ways of finding out your health status, combing genetic databases, etc, these insurance companies will discover your apoE4 status and will greatly increase your premiums when they find out you are in a “high risk group”.

    5) Once Obamacare goes away, with your newly minted pre-existing condition, while it may not permit the health insurance companies to drop you, you will find yourself in a high risk pool with big time premium increases.

    6) all this will be a reward for your curiosity about whether you are an apoE4 homozygote, based on a test with a high negative predictive value.

    Why even bother with the trial at all? You can spend a few bucks and get the same answer from the 23 and me test kit. On the other hand, if you’re really into getting periodic spinal taps, be my guest and sign up.

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