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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. We plan to stage a listening party, tidy up the Pharmalot grounds, and promenade with the energetic official mascot. And what about you? Have you procured apples and pumpkins yet? If not, there is still time. You could boost the economy and buy some winter gear, assuming inventories are available. Or you could convince someone to get vaccinated. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy, and see you soon …

The fate of the Democratic party’s ambitious goal of allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices rests with a handful of key moderate senators, STAT notes. Negotiations on the exact scope of the reforms heated up this week after months of stalemate. But as lawmakers push to compile an outline of the massive domestic spending package that forms a cornerstone of President Biden’s domestic agenda, consensus on drug pricing policies has proved elusive. Besides Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), the list of potential holdouts includes Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, from President Biden’s home state of Delaware, and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, which is home to many drug makers.


Western stockpiles of surplus Covid-19 vaccines are predicted to reach 600 million doses by the end of the year and millions might expire — yet the COVAX global vaccine facility is still short of 500 million doses to vaccinate 40% of the population by December, Health Policy Watch writes, citing remarks by former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was recently appointed World Health Organization Ambassador for Global Health Financing. He called for a “globally coordinated, month by month operational plan and timetable” to transfer unused vaccines being held by the richest countries of the world to the world’s poorest countries.

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