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Top of the morning to you, and a fine one it is. Relatively mild temperatures and clearing skies this morning are livening the Pharmalot campus, where things have quieted down now that our short people have departed for their endeavors. This leaves us to our own devices, notably the coffee kettle, which we are firing up again to enjoy some cups of stimulation. Our choice today is pecan pie. Feel free to choose something equally provocative and join us. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits. Hope your journey today is a smooth one and, as always, do keep in touch …

And then there were five — pharma execs, that is, who have agreed to appear at a Senate Finance Committee hearing later this month to discuss drug prices. Among them: Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE), Sanofi (SNY), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), and the Janssen unit of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). Their scheduled appearances will follow an upbraiding from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who chastised the executives for failing to testify at a recent hearing on the subject.


After criticizing Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX) for a $375,000 list price for a rare disease drug, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has asked the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services about the cost to taxpayers, specifically what Medicare and Medicaid expect to pay for the drug, which treats Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome. Until recently, patients could obtain an unapproved version for free from a small, family-run company, thanks to a compassionate use program overseen by the Food and Drug Administration.

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