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Hello there, and happy pre-Turkey Day. STAT reporter Andrew Joseph here filling in for Mr. Pharmalot. We’re at a family member’s house, deep in the heart of Texas, so we’re drinking whatever cup of stimulation they’re serving up, and as much of it as quickly as possible to keep up with some of the really short people running around. Between doing our best to make sure they don’t take us out at the knees and making our pie dough for tomorrow, we’ve also compiled a few tidbits of interest. This newsletter will be on a brief break until next week with the holiday on this side of the pond, but we here at STAT wish you and yours a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Three retail pharmacy chains recklessly distributed massive amounts of pain pills in two Ohio counties, a federal jury said Tuesday in a verdict that could set the tone for U.S. city and county governments that want to hold pharmacies accountable for their roles in the opioid crisis, the Associated Press reported. The counties blamed CVS (CVS), Walgreens (WBA), and Walmart (WMT) for not stopping the flood of pills that caused hundreds of overdose deaths and cost each of the two counties about $1 billion, their attorney said. This was the first time pharmacy companies had completed a trial to defend themselves in a drug crisis that has killed a half-million Americans over the past two decades.


Robert Califf, President Biden’s choice to lead the Food and Drug Administration, earned $2.7 million as an executive at Google’s life science arm Verily (GOOG), and he holds between $1 million and $5 million in equity in the company, according to a recent financial statement filed with the White House, according to STAT. Califf is coming into the FDA’s top job with a massive stock portfolio. His financial statement lists roughly 30 companies in which he owns more than $100,000 worth of stock as part of a retirement account. His holdings include between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of stock in the pharmaceutical giants Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) and Amgen (AMGN) and between $100,000 and $250,000 in Gilead (GILD).

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