Bob Herman Mar 13
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Pharma CEO Andrew Witty switches teams

Andrew Witty speaks at an event.
Andrew Witty led GlaxoSmithKline for roughly a decade. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images

One year after leaving British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, Andrew Witty is becoming CEO of Optum, the conglomerate owned by UnitedHealth Group. One of Optum's largest businesses is its pharmacy benefit manager, which negotiates down drug prices from companies like GlaxoSmithKline.

Why it matters: Witty, a critic of high drug prices who also is a paid UnitedHealth board member, is moving to the other side of the pharmaceutical bargaining table. It's also worth noting that under Witty's watch, GlaxoSmithKline had to pay China a $489 million fine over bribery and corruption charges.

Jonathan Swan 8 hours ago
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Trump's two-front war

Photo: Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump is ending the week with a flop — nowhere close to the border wall funding he wanted in the DACA-less spending bill that congressional leaders released last evening. But he's fulfilling one of his most aggressive campaign promises with his anti-China trade action.

The big picture: Trump's expected announcement today of tariffs on Chinese imports is a big deal, and analysts fear it could provoke a trade war — and it comes as Trump has been battling his own party here at home over the government spending bill.

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The worst flu season in eight years

Note: Activity levels are based on outpatient visits in a state compared to the average number of visits that occur during weeks with little or no flu virus circulation; Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

This year's flu season caught many experts off guard with both its sustained prevalence and its virulence. At its peak, there was a higher level of flu-like illnesses reported than any other year during the past eight years. Watch in the visual as it hits its peak around Week 18.

Why it matters: Public health officials try to capture this data when developing the next year's vaccines. And, of course, they want to find better ways to prevent severe flu seasons. There's a "Strategic Plan" to develop a universal vaccine to protect against a wider range of influenza viruses, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.