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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, for now, rather modest. We plan to promenade with the official mascot and, if we can muster the willpower, manicure the Pharmalot grounds. And how about you? Autumn has arrived, so perhaps this is an opportunity to hop in your buggy for a spin in the country. Along the way, you could stock up on apples and pumpkins. For those of you who like to plan, you could purchase some winter gear before prices rise still further. Or you could simply take stock of the rest of your life. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy, and see you midweek, since we will be off for a couple of days to observe ancient rituals. A colleague will take charge in our absence. …

The White House is pitching an added benefit to the recent drug-pricing reform package: lower cancer death rates, STAT explains. A new analysis by the Council of Economic Advisers focused on a provision that caps Medicare out-of-pocket costs for pharmacy drugs at $2,000 a year, starting in 2025. Over 449,000 current Medicare enrollees with a prior cancer diagnosis would save an average of nearly $1,600 a year on prescription drugs because of the out-of-pocket cap. Right now, there is no limit on out-of-pocket costs. The White House is framing the law as a boon to President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, which aims to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years.


A panel of U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers voted in favor of a Ferring Pharmaceuticals fecal transplant-based therapy to reduce the recurrence of a bacterial infection, bringing the first therapy of its kind closer to approval, Reuters reports. The therapy, Rebyota, works by replenishing the good gut bacteria through samples of microbes distilled from feces of healthy donors, delivered through an enema in this case. Although antibiotics are the first-line of treatment for C. difficile, which causes about half a million infections in the United States per year, they can also kill the good gut bacteria that prevent recurrences.

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