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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite — which was longer than usual on this side of the pond due to a federal holiday — was relaxing and refreshing, because that oh-so-familiar routine of meetings, deadlines, and the like has, predictably, returned. To cope, yes, we are quaffing cups of stimulation, especially since the arctic tundra has come to town. Perhaps you can relate? In any event, here are some tidbits to warm your engines. Hope today is smashing and, as always, do keep in touch …

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) chairman Philip Hampton, 65, will step down after just four years in the role, The Evening Standard notes. No date was given for when he will leave, but the hunt for a successor has begun. The disclosure comes a month after drug maker unveiled a deal with Pfizer (PFE) to create a consumer-health powerhouse, a move that will leave Glaxo with a standalone pharmaceuticals business, which chief executive Emma Walmsley is keen to strengthen.


As the U.S. government shutdown enters its second month, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and other agency leaders will be tasked with difficult decisions on whom to furlough, Regulatory Focus explains. The agency is expected to halt its review of prescription drug applications around the first week of February, and other medical products reviewed under user fee laws will follow suit in the coming months. If the shutdown lasts until drug user fee funds run short, more employees in the exempt bucket will be shifted to furloughed or excepted.

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