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Top of the morning to you, and a fine one it is. Once again, crystal clear blue skies and soothingly cool breezes are enveloping the Pharmalot campus, where the official mascot and his stay-over playmate are bounding about the grounds. As for us, we are engaged in the usual rituals at this hour of the day. We are brewing a few cups of stimulation — our choice is chocolate raspberry — and foraging for items of interest to pass along. In fact, here they are. That was quick, yes? On that note, we hope you have a productive and meaningful day, and conquer the world. And as always, please do keep in touch. We enjoy the feedback and suggestions. …

A federal appeals court panel heard arguments in a case that could determine the future of a commonly used abortion pill, opening a line of questioning centered around the safety of the drug and what at least one judge suggested is the fallibility of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, STAT writes. Two judges repeatedly came back to FDA decision-making and seemed to reject a key government argument that an order by a Texas federal judge to remove mifepristone from the market represented “an unprecedented and unjustified attack on FDA scientific expertise,” as U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sarah Harrington said.


The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is widening its probe into pharmacy benefit managers and their impact on drug pricing by looking into a pair of group purchasing organizations that are owned by these industry middlemen, but are not well understood outside the industry, STAT reports. Pharmacy benefit managers are linchpins in the pharmaceutical pricing system, yet are under increased scrutiny for allegedly driving up consumer costs. By seeking documents from Zinc Health Services and Ascent Health Services, the agency is attempting to unravel what critics complain is an opaque set of business practices and relationships.

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