Friday, December 23, 2016

The Readout by Damian Garde & Meghana Keshavan

Happy holidays from Team Readout! The newsletter is on hiatus next week, but we'll be back in your inbox January 3. In the meantime, keep abreast of all things biopharma by reading STAT Plus and, of course, follow us on Twitter: @damiangarde@megkesh, and @statnews

Congress isn't dropping drug pricing

Drug pricing will continue to be a top issue in Washington — as long as Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic senator from Minnesota, has anything to do with it.

In a chat with STAT, Klobuchar said she was optimistic that Congress would act in the coming year, pointing to negotiations over reauthorizing the Prescription Drug User Fee Act as one key opportunity. 

Read more on STAT Plus.

The maladies of mouse muchness

poor inbred little beastie. (flickr user global panorama)

The lab mouse plays an integral role in medicine, fueling many a scientific breakthrough — but we can't forget that such animal models tend to be inherently over-simplistic.

They’ve been created, after all, through generations upon generations of inbreeding, “until the whole bloodline is genetically very much of a muchness,” as the Economist writes. 

The problem? Mice muchness isn't a good template for human heterogeneity — which is why more than 80 percent of drugs tested in animal models don’t perform well in people.

"Dumpster fire:" A good descriptor indeed for Valeant

he's actually a nice guy. (dom smith / stat)

Biotech had a fairly wretched year, but it’s been nicely catalogued by Adam Feuerstein’s tweets. We've dubbed him "the most feared man in biotech" thanks to his vociferous Twitter presence, which he puts on display in a year’s end compilation of his pithiest truisms (and spot-on gifs). Enjoy.

Calling all biotech soothsayers

We're in for an exceedingly interesting biopharma year. A new president will set the tone for health policy, regulation and, dare we say it, drug pricing. What do you think will come of it all? What'll happen on Wall Street? Which execs will be hauled before Congress? Will Gilead ever make a deal?

Oh, and which pharma stock will be the first to soar (or plummet) as a direct result of a presidential tweet?

Share your predictions for the coming year by clicking on the handy "send us an email" button below.

More reads

  • Fatal French clinical trial failed to check data before raising drug dose. (Nature
  • Teva settles a foreign corruption probe for $519 million. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Enemies of all maladies: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan want to "cure, prevent, or manage" every disease by 2100. (Modern Luxury)

Have a news tip or comment you want to send us?

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Thanks for reading! Enjoy the holidays, and we'll see you next year!

Damian & Meghana

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