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Rise and shine, everyone, another busy day is on the way. Remember, there are meetings to hold, phone calls to make, texts to send, and trips to make. Moreover, today requires extra diligence because you want to avoid frightful developments. This calls, of course, for a few cups of stimulation. Not surprisingly, our choice today is oh-so-appropriate pumpkin spice. Please feel free to join us. Meanwhile, try to settle in with a few items of interest. Hope all goes well and, if you see the Great Pumpkin, please say hello …

The rate of layoffs in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry continues to mount, according to Challenger Gray & Christmas, the outplacement and executive coaching firm. Through October, the number of layoffs totaled 10,631, a 4.9% increase from the same period a year ago. In October alone, 2,243 job cuts were announced, compared with 760 in September. Merck (MRK), for instance, recently disclosed plans to cut 500 positions. And Amgen (AMGN) will eliminate 180 jobs from a neuroscience unit that is being shuttered.


Pharmaceutical and health insurance industry representatives on Wednesday sparred over the potential impacts of legislation to lower drug prices, underscoring an emerging flashpoint here as Congress attempts to broker sweeping pharmaceutical industry reforms, STAT tells us. The debate centered on a recent analysis showing the signature drug pricing bill from the Democrats would reduce the number of new drugs approved in the U.S. by eight to 15 in the coming decade.

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