Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was refreshing and invigorating, because that predictable routine of online meetings, deadlines, and project planning has returned. But what can you do? The world, such as it is, keeps spinning. So to nudge it in a better direction, we are firing up the coffee kettle to brew a cup of needed stimulation. Our choice today is caramel apple. Please feel free to join us. Meanwhile, here is the latest menu of tidbits to help you get started on the day, which we hope will be meaningful and productive. As always, do keep in touch. …
New guidelines for combating obesity in children from the American Academy of Pediatrics, suggesting early and aggressive treatment, are generating a backlash, The Washington Post reports. Critics on the left have raised concerns about unequal access to treatment, which insurance does not always cover, and worry earlier medical interventions may create more fat-shaming of vulnerable children. Conservative commentators have suggested the guidelines offer an easy out for poor lifestyle choices. People on both sides express uneasiness about long-term consequences of putting millions of children on drugs or under the knife, instead of doing more to prevent obesity in the first place.
Novartis warned that U.S. government plans to rein in drug prices could discourage work in some of its most promising areas of research and urged Washington to rethink the “unintended” effects of its new rules, Reuters tells us. Small molecule chemical drugs will be subject to negotiated prices nine years after regulatory approval, but biologic drugs made from living cells would not be affected until after 13 years, according to a new law. As a result, some pharmaceutical executives say they are now prioritizing biologics, generally injections or infusions, over “small-molecule” drugs, which are mainly pills. But Novartis said this would hit its areas of innovative strength particularly hard.
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