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Hello, everyone, and nice to see you again after a long holiday break. We hope the respite was relaxing and invigorating, and the new year has gotten off to a good start. Now, of course, the time has come to resume the usual routine of meetings, deadlines, and the like. You knew this would happen, yes? Before we continue, though, we are sorry to report that one of our official mascots, Rosie the Beagle, passed away the other day. No longer will she snooze in a nearby corner or, displaying uncanny timing, bark vociferously during our phone calls. Rest in peace, little one. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits to get you going. Hope your day goes well and please do keep in touch …

With the new year, drug makers will have to pay far more into Medicare — nearly $12 billion over the next decade — in a policy change that the powerful industry lobbying group did not see coming, STAT explains. The effort to combat the higher payments illustrated how flat-footed PhRMA was caught by the policy, how it spun together multiple lobbying strategies to advance its “fix,” and how close it came to getting its way. “This might well be the biggest political loss that PhRMA has suffered in a decade,” says Daniel Carpenter, a professor of government at Harvard.

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