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Rise and shine, everyone, another busy and disorienting day is on the way. Although uncertainty permeates so much these days, we are buoyed, nonetheless, by sunny skies and a cool breeze wafting over the Pharmalot campus. Our outlook is helped along by the playful sounds of our small, but growing mascot and a needed cup of stimulation — our choice today is mocha fudge nut, for those tracking this sort of thing. Meanwhile, here are a few items of interest to get you going. Hope your day is manageable, productive, and safe. …

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan is on the verge of initiating a fast-track approval process for remdesivir, the experimental Gilead Sciences (GILD) antiviral, to treat patients infected by the novel coronavirus, The Nikkei Asian Review says. Japan’s health ministry will place the drug on a shortened authorization track once another nation certifies the drug to treat Covid-19. Results from international clinical trials are expected shortly. Abe told legislators in parliament he expected the drug to qualify for approval “soon.”

A dozen of America’s top scientists and a collection of billionaires and industry titans say they have the answer to the coronavirus pandemic, and found a backdoor to deliver their plan to the White House, The Wall Street Journal writes. The eclectic group is led by a 33-year-old physician-turned-venture capitalist, who lives far from the public eye, but has enough lofty connections to influence government decisions in the war against Covid-19. The group describes its work as a lockdown-era Manhattan Project.

India is counting on Gilead to voluntarily issue generic licences for its remdesivir antiviral drug, which is being tested to treat Covid-19, LiveMint tells us. Having squabbled with Gilead over its hepatitis C drug in 2015, which prompted retaliation from the U.S. government, the Indian government is not keen on pursuing a compulsory license for a generic company to make a version of the drug. But banking on Gilead to voluntarily license the drug could be risky, creating uncertainty over its supply, especially if the trials are successful.

More than one-third of U.S. adults believe that prescription drug prices have increased a lot since 2017, the first year of the Trump administration, and only 7% think prices have dropped at all, STAT writes, citing a new poll. Consequently, 65% of Americans say the administration has not made very much progress or no progress at all in limiting the rising cost of medicines. Most Democrats and independents — 81% and 70%, respectively — believed that drug prices rose a little or a lot, while only 47% of Republicans shared that view.

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