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Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? Gray skies are hovering over the Pharmalot campus, but we are looking past the clouds and geopolitical gloom. After all, the glass is always half full, yes? As George Burns used to say, “I look to the future, because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.” So join us as we hoist a cup of stimulation — our choice today is wild mountain blueberry — to embrace what lies ahead. And dig in to the list of interesting items below, too. Hope you have a splendid day and stay safe. …

The South African government does not plan to buy the Merck (MRK) Covid-19 antiviral pill, called molnupiravir, due to the cost, despite the drug gaining approval from the country’s health regulator, Reuters reports. Molnupiravir and a rival antiviral pill from Pfizer (PFE) called Paxlovid have demonstrated efficacy in trials of adults with Covid-19 who are at high risk of serious illness, and are now both in use. Health department Deputy Director-General Nicholas Crisp says that an evaluation score from the National Essential Medicines List Committee indicated that the Merck pill would not be cost-effective.

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