The Pfizer logo. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Washington Post's story this week on how Pfizer opted out of pursuing a link between one of its blockbuster drugs and Alzheimer's prevention may have been overblown, Derek Lowe writes in Science Translational Medicine's blog.

The state of play: Undertaking an Alzheimer's trial is a huge endeavor, Lowe argues, and is both risky and expensive. "The clinical success rate for Alzheimer's trials is arguably zero per cent," he writes.

  • Thus, the data from Pfizer's insurance claims aren't enough to launch an ambitious clinical trial.
  • It's also illogical to think that a drug company would have sat on a potential Alzheimer's prevention — which would be worth a fortune.
  • The link between anti-inflammatory drugs and Alzheimer's has been explored before, meaning that it's not like Pfizer kept completely ground-breaking information secret.

Go deeper: The outlook for Alzheimer's research keeps getting bleaker

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Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

2 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.