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Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? We are doing just fine, thank you, despite a steady downpour dousing the Pharmalot campus. The premises are rather quiet, now that the short people have left for their destinations — the local schoolhouse and gainful employment, to be specific. And the official mascots are snoozing in various corners. This leaves us to fire up the coffee kettle and rummage for interesting items. On that note, here are some tidbits to brighten your day. Hope all goes well and, of course, do keep us in mind when you learn something fascinating …

Novartis (NVS) will cut 2,500 jobs in Switzerland and the U.K. over four years, as the drug maker strives to boost profits and focus on new medicines, Reuters says. Nearly 1,500 jobs are affected in production and about 700 in services. The move comes in response to a reduced product portfolio, a network of 66 global factories that is operating below capacity after the expiry of patents on big-selling pills, and a greater focus on personalized medicine. “We don’t need the same scale we’ve historically needed,” says chief executive Vas Narasimhan.


There were fewer price hikes on drugs this year from January through July than in previous years, but companies still raised prices far more often than they cut them, the Associated Press reports. This year through the end of July, there were 4,412 brand-name price hikes and 46 price cuts. For every price drop over those seven months, there were 96 price hikes. In June and July, there were 395 price increases and 24 decreases. The two dozen cuts were up from the 15 decreases in those same two months last year, but increases still outpaced decreases by a ratio of 16.5 to 1.

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