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Top of the morning to you. And a steamy one, it is. In fact, there is more steam rising from the grounds of the Pharmalot campus than from our ritual cup of stimulation — our choice today is glazed doughnut. But this is to be expected at this time of year, yes? In any event, there is work to be done, so as always, we have assembled a few items of interest for you. After all, the world keeps spinning no matter what the thermometer says. Hope you have a successful day and conquer the world. And of course, do keep in touch. …

Roche chief executive Severin Schwan will step down next March and has been nominated as chair, after 15 years at the helm of one of the world’s biggest drugmakers by revenue, The Financial Times says. Schwan will be succeeded by Thomas Schinecker, head of the diagnostics unit. The board will recommend Schwan replace current chair Christoph Franz, who has held the role at Roche since 2014. Schwan joined Roche as a trainee in 1993 and has been at the company his entire career. Schinecker has overseen one of the company’s most important units during a time of unprecedented demand. Sales at the diagnostics division grew 11% in the first half of the year.


Democrats may be closer than ever to passing sweeping drug-pricing reforms, but Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) says there is more to do, STAT tells us. Wyden, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, outlined a number of additional policies he wants to turn to after the Senate passes reforms currently up for consideration. That package would deliver on a promise to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for drugs, and would penalize drugmakers for hiking prices faster than inflation. One of his biggest wish-list items: major changes to the business model of pharmacy benefit managers, which negotiate prices on behalf of insurers and which have been criticized as driving up prices for consumers.

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