The Daily Dose: Big Pharma pays and D.C. politicians kneel

An eye-opening but not completely unexpected long read in STAT documents the way Big Pharma uses its monetary clout to influence policy in the Beltway. Specifically, the piece focuses on two Congressmen swayed from taking strong anti-pharmaceutical company stances by significant donations to their election campaigns. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) both bent the knee to Big Pharm overlords. It’s worth the read and the high blood pressure.

While we’re on the subject of Pharma, Genentech has been in serious Art of the Deal mode. Last week they penned a billion dollar deal with Sosei Heptares. This week, they’ve done two more deals, one with Skyhawk Therapeutics and another with Convelo Therapeutics, that focus on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. According to Fierce, “The agreement grants Genentech an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize potential therapeutics directed to multiple targets while Skyhawk receives an upfront payment and is eligible to receive future payments and royalties.”

The Guardian is reporting that Scotland is experiencing a sharp rise of drug-related deaths, upwards of a 27% increase. It is now on par with the United States in terms of per capita fatalities. The culprits: Heroin, methadone or codeine were implicated 86% of deaths. The majority of the deaths took place among the so-called Trainspotting generation – over-35 year old long term users.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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