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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, for now, appears rather modest. We plan to promenade extensively with the official mascot, catch up on our reading, and have a listening party with Mrs. Pharmalot. And what about you? The holiday season is beckoning, so this may be a fine time to plan a getaway or a get-together. You could also splurge on gift giving before prices rise still further. This may also be an opportunity to turn on the telly and catch up on your binge watching. Or you might want to plan the rest of your life. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy, and see you soon. …

After finding success investing in the more obviously lucrative corners of American medicine — like surgery centers and dermatology practices — private equity firms have moved aggressively into the industry’s more hidden niches: They are pouring billions into the business of clinical drug trials, Kaiser Health News writes. And a fragmented clinical trials industry has made it a prime target for private equity, which often consolidates markets by merging companies. To date, 11 of the 25 private equity firms identified by industry tracker PitchBook as the top investors in health care have bought stakes in clinical research companies.


At a time when many Americans are clamoring for more transparency into prescription drug pricing, one key provider of that data is making it harder to access the information, STAT reports. A new venture called Merative — which was formed recently from the ashes of IBM’s Watson Health division — has decided it will no longer provide the media with pricing changes for specific medicines. This includes details such as separate doses and packaging on both current and historical prices. Merative has decided to withhold prescription drug pricing data from the media over concerns that releasing such information will alienate pharmaceutical companies that it counts among its clients.

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