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Hello, everyone, and how are you this morning? A spot of rain is falling on the Pharmalot campus, making for a gloomy start to yet another busy day. The official mascot, for instance, is put off — instead of gallivanting about the grounds, he remains curled up in a ball alongside us. Nonetheless, our spirits remain sunny. How so? We will trot a favorite bit of wisdom from the Morning Mayor: Every new day should be unwrapped like a precious gift. With this in mind, we are brewing another cup of stimulation — our choice today is chocolate raspberry — and unfurling our to-do list. Have a good day, stay dry, and keep us in mind if you hear anything interesting. …

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel backed a GSK respiratory syncytial virus vaccine, setting it up for a race with rival Pfizer’s RSV vaccine to become the first approved U.S. shot against the disease, Reuters tells us. The panel voted unanimously in favor of the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV in adults aged 60 and above, and voted 10 to 2 for its safety. The panelists also seemed significantly more confident about the demographic profile used during the GSK study in comparison to the Pfizer vaccine, which was recommended by the FDA panel earlier this week. More from MedPage Today.


A U.S. government watchdog found that Medicare drug plans improperly authorized thousands of prescriptions for certain powerful opioids over a recent four-year period, a failure that cost taxpayers $86 million as the opioid crisis was raging across the country, STAT writes. Between July 2015 and December 2019, Medicare Part D plans covered more than 7,500 prescriptions for TIRF opioid painkillers. The opioids were approved by U.S. regulators for managing breakthrough cancer pain, which is a sudden increase in pain beyond the usual chronic suffering felt by cancer patients. Yet 810 Medicare beneficiaries received these opioids even though they lacked a cancer diagnosis.

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