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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 includes spending time with various short people, some of whom are in the process of coming and going, as well as promenading with the official mascot and catching up on our reading. And what about you? There is still time to break away for a needed respite. If not, you could enjoy the great outdoors in your own vicinity. Or maybe veg out and binge-watch a few shows. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy, and see you soon. …

Federal health officials are investigating emerging reports that the Moderna (MRNA) Covid-19 vaccine may be associated with a higher risk of a heart condition called myocarditis in younger adults than previously believed, The Washington Post reports. The investigation, which involves the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is focusing on Canadian data that suggest the vaccine may carry a higher risk for young people than the Pfizer (PFE)-BioNTech (BNTX) shot, especially for males below the age of 30.

U.S. states are racing to meet a Saturday deadline to commit to a $26 billion opioid settlement with three pharmaceutical wholesalers and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) as some grapple with local resistance and concerns the amount is not big enough to address the damage done by the opioid crisis, Reuters tells us. Fourteen state attorneys general unveiled the proposed settlement with McKesson (MCK), AmerisourceBergen (ABC), Cardinal Health (CAH), and J&J on July 21, kicking off a months-long process for states, counties, and cities to sign on.

Johnson & Johnson chief executive officer Alex Gorsky is stepping aside, handing over the reins of the world’s largest health-products company to a longtime lieutenant after nearly a decade at the helm, The Wall Street Journal writes. Gorsky, 61, will become J&J’s executive chairman effective Jan. 3. Joaquin Duato, who led J&J’s pharmaceuticals business before becoming a Gorsky deputy, will become chief executive and join the company’s board of directors.

The Biden Administration has ruled out the nomination of acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock as permanent head of the agency, Bloomberg News reports. Several lawmakers, including Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, have firmly objected to Woodcock. Manchin is considered as a key swing vote in the evenly divided Senate. The White House has made no public announcement regarding the decision, but officials have reportedly concluded in private that she won’t be the nominee.


The FDA will hold a hearing on whether Covis Pharma should voluntarily withdraw its controversial treatment for preventing premature births after a key study found the medicine is ineffective, STAT reports. The move comes nearly two years after an FDA advisory panel recommended the medication, known as Makena, should be withdrawn after the trial failed to verify a clinical benefit. The 9-to-7 vote called into question the future of a medication that has been the standard of care across the U.S. since it was approved a decade ago.

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