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Top of the morning to you. And a fine one it is. Lots of sunshine and clear blue skies are enveloping the Pharmalot campus, where the official mascot is bounding about the slushy grounds and the sounds of rumbling garbage trucks can be heard. As for us, we are as busy as ever hunting and gathering items of interest. We trust you have your own hectic agendas. So join us as we hoist the ever-present cup of stimulation — the choice du jour is southern pecan for those tracking this sort of thing — and attack the to-do list. Have a grand day, everyone, and do stay in touch. …

In a dramatically close procedural vote Monday night, the Senate voted 49-45 to advance Robert Califf’s nomination to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, virtually guaranteeing he will soon be confirmed as its commissioner, STAT reports. The Senate vote technically only limits debate on his confirmation, because lawmakers will have to hold another formal floor vote on the confirmation before he can become commissioner. That vote is expected later this week. But the procedural vote, known as a cloture vote, generally signals how lawmakers will vote on the nomination itself.

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