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Pfizer is soliciting offers for its unit that sells over-the-counter products like Advil and Robitussin. Photo: Mark Lennihan / AP

Drug giant Pfizer is opening the process for a possible sale of its consumer health business, which makes over-the-counter products like Advil, ChapStick, Nexium and Robitussin. Wall Street analysts predict Pfizer could get around $15 billion for the business, which had global revenue of $3.4 billion in 2016.

Between the lines: Over-the-counter brands are profitable, but Pfizer wants to steer more of its business into the much higher margins of prescription drugs, an area where it has had few breakthrough therapies lately. Pfizer also has two valuable drug patents expiring soon (Viagra and Lyrica), which means the company could buy a biotech firm with money it gets from a sale.

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  3. Vaccine: NYC postpones vaccine appointments following shipment delays — Private companies step in to fill vaccine logistics vacuum.
  4. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Both chambers of Congress on Thursday voted to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the path to confirmation for President Biden's nominee for defense secretary.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.

McConnell proposes February impeachment trial

Sen. Mitch McConnell Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is proposing that the impeachment trial of former President Trump begin in mid-February to allow for due process.

Why it matters: The impeachment trial is likely to grind other Senate business to a halt, including the confirmation process for President Biden's Cabinet nominees.

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