Good morning, one and all. Damian Garde here, filling in for Ed Silverman on an rain-sodden morning that promises only to amplify those daydreams of weekend respite. May your day of meetings, deadlines, and sundry workplace indignities pass quickly, and may the following tidbits speed you on your path. And, as always, do let us know if you hear anything particularly saucy out there.
Several former Roche (ROG) employees and other individuals are being investigated by police in St. Petersburg, Russia, for allegedly stealing and then reselling MabThera, which is also known as Rituxan, on the black market, Crime Russia dishes. The police seized documents indicating payments were made to doctors who wrote prescriptions for large quantities of the medicine. A spokesperson for the drug maker tells us the employees were no longer working at the company as of 2014 and that the company is “fully collaborating with the authorities.”
Kentucky could become the first state to levy a tax on the sale of opioid painkillers, STAT reports, hoping to curb the use of such drugs while filling gaps in its budget. The proposed tax, a 25-cent levy on drug distributors for every dose sent to the state, is similar to roughly a dozen bills considered in other states, none of which have come to fruition.