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Hello, everyone, and nice to see you again. We are happy to report that we have returned in one piece from an extended round of schmoozing and kibbitzing in the swamp, where we encountered a delightful mix of old and new contacts. We thank them for their time. Now, though, we must return to the usual routine, which of course, includes a few cups of stimulation — our choice today is milk chocolate caramel, seriously. Meanwhile, here are your tidbits. Have a smashing day and do keep us in mind when you run across secret dossiers …

Astellas Pharma is the latest drug maker to reveal it is a subject of a U.S. probe into pharmaceutical industry support of charities offering assistance to Medicare patients seeking help to cover out-of-pocket drug costs, Reuters reports. In a lawsuit filed against its insurers, the drug maker disclosed that the U.S. Justice Department was conducting a joint criminal and civil investigation.


Pfizer (PFE) and Novartis (NVS) agreed to cut the prices on their rival breast cancer drugs, Ibrance and Kisqali, to ensure the treatments can be used routinely in the U.K.’s National Health Service, Pharmaphorum explains. The move builds on a recent trend for more deals being struck between drug makers, the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Department of Health over oncology medications.

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