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And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda is modest, if not encouraging. We plan to hang with one or more short people, putter around the castle, and spend time with Mrs. Pharmalot. And what about you? Spring has sprung, so this may be a good time to tidy up. In the process, you could make some spare change by holding a garage sale. Then again, the great outdoors is beckoning, so maybe a pleasant walk or long drive is in order. Or perhaps you could act on your ambition and poll your friends about running for president; everyone seems to be doing it. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy, and see you soon. …

The Trump administration may concede to a Chinese proposal that would give less protection for U.S. medicines than they receive at home, a move that could draw opposition from the American pharmaceutical industry, according to Bloomberg News. Under the Chinese offer being discussed as part of wider trade talks, U.S. drug makers would get eight years of regulatory data protection in China for the biologics they develop. By comparison, the new NAFTA deal offers 10 years of protection and 12 years in the U.S. So China would get a stronger mechanism to force down prices.

In a final attempt to end a closely watched opioid lawsuit before a trial in Oklahoma, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is arguing the case brought by the state is a contortion of state law and a violation of due process, Reuters writes. The health care giant also says the state has not even linked J&J’s marketing of its government-approved products to unwarranted prescriptions for painkillers, let alone to abuse of illegal opiates. The trial is scheduled for the end of May against J&J and Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) for sparking the opioid crisis. Purdue Pharma settled by agreeing to pay $270 million.

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