What to Know

olensGeorgia attorney general Sam Olens will resign his office to take the helm as president of Kennesaw State University. Governor Deal is expected to name Chris Carr, the state’s economic development chief, to take over as attorney general.

“Attorney General Olens has been a real friend to pharmacy and an exemplary public servant,” said Scott Brunner, GPhA’s chief executive officer. “We’ll miss his influence as attorney general, but we wish him well as KSU’s new leader.”

—Andrew Kantor • Sep. 27, 2016

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First the Western Hemisphere became free of war. Now, for the first time in history (and despite the best efforts of the anti-vaxxers), the Americas has been declared measles-free by the WHO. Yes, this news is as  good as it sounds.

—Andrew Kantor • Sep. 27, 2016

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A review of what private insurers are paying to treat and otherwise deal with opioid abuse and dependence finds that — to be blunt — those insurers are paying through the nose. And other places.

Two quick highlights (‘cause you can read the entire report):

(Read the rest….)

—Andrew Kantor • Sep. 27, 2016

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There’s probably a better pun to be made, but I’ll go with that. The news (in case you missed it): Riding a roller coaster can help pass small kidney stones (and thus prevent larger ones from forming).

Experimenter and urological surgeon David Wartinger got the idea after he “noticed anecdotal reports from patients who had passed small kidney stones during and immediately after visiting the Disney theme parks.”

—Andrew Kantor • Sep. 27, 2016

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In a shocker, it turns out that Mylan CEO Heather Bresch lied didn’t actually give correct information to Congress in her testimony about Epi-Pen profits.

Her poster and testimony included a 37.5 percent tax — but she conveniently forgot that, as Mylan moved to the Netherlands to escape paying U.S. taxes, it doesn’t actually pay nearly that much; it pays almost nothing.

Fortune summed it up: “[I]t turns out that several of her statements would require some serious financial gymnastics and creative accounting to be considered accurate.

You don’t want to brag about not paying taxes, sure, but when testifying before Congress you kinda don’t want to lie, either. Bresch faces 40 years in prison for perjury. Kidding! Kidding! She simply gets scolded and asked to provide ‘correct’ information.

—Andrew Kantor • Sep. 27, 2016

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Research hasn’t found a link between talc and ovarian cancer, but that hasn’t stopped some people from suing (and at least one judge throwing out some cases for lack of evidence).

—Andrew Kantor • Sep. 26, 2016

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The dustbin of history, probably, if Bayer buys Monsanto. Monsanto’s name has such negative connotations that Bayer insiders say the company will drop it if the $66 billion purchase goes through.

That may not stop rumors that if you face a mirror and say “Monsanto” six times, your lawn will turn brown.

—Andrew Kantor • Sep. 26, 2016

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Here’s your money quote: “We think that creating a vaccine for the common cold can be reduced to technical challenges related to manufacturing.” (Martin Moore, associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine.)

Here’s your background: There may be more than 100 varieties of rhinovirus, but in a paper in Nature Communications, Moore & Co. found they could immunize rhesus monkeys from 50 of them. (“We for the first time generated a vaccine capable of inducing nAb responses to numerous and diverse HRV types.”)

—Andrew Kantor • Sep. 26, 2016

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The nickel tour, courtesy of FiercePharma:

  • The FDA approved Amjevita, which is the Humira biosimilar made by Amgen.
  • In theory, Amgen could start distributing it in 180 days (March 2017).
  • But AbbVie, which makes Humira, is suing to stop it, claiming patent infringement.

What will happen? If we knew we’d be calling our brokers, not posting to the blog. (Note to anti-trust investigators: That was a joke.)

—Andrew Kantor • Sep. 26, 2016

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This article is on being skeptical about the science and medical advice you read online, but the lede is something maybe everyone should have to repeat a few times a day:

“Internet commentators love to shout their opinions, but the loudest might not know what they’re talking about.”

Amen.

—Andrew Kantor • Sep. 26, 2016

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