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Top of the morning to you, and a fine one it is. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and cool breezes are wafting over the Pharmalot campus, where the official mascot is snoozing after dashing about the grounds. As for us, we are brewing the ritual cup of stimulation, which appears safe despite controversy. Although for those who fancy something slightly different, we can also recommend a cuppa tea. Meanwhile, there is work to be done. So time to get cracking. Here are a few items of interest to get you going. Hope your day goes swimmingly and, of course, do stay in touch. …

In a bid to address the high cost of medicines, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock wrote the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to express concern about drug companies’ actions to extend their monopolies as well as suggestions for curtailing some of these practices, STAT writes. The issue reflects concerns that drug makers have increasingly been granted patents that arguably add little to medical innovation, but extend their monopolies that not only forestall lower-cost competition but also permit ongoing price hikes.


Purdue Pharma obtained court approval to pay up to $7.1 million in incentive payments for five top executives if they meet certain goals, despite opposition from U.S. government lawyers, Reuters writes. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain said during a Monday hearing that he does not consider incentive payments “bonuses” because even if they are paid out in full, the executives would still fall in the middle of the total compensation range for executives at major drug makers. The incentive payments, he said, are essentially part of the executives’ salaries.

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