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Craig Ruttle / AP

Confirming yesterday's buzz, PhRMA, the pharmaceutical industry's primary lobbying group, announced changes to its membership structure today that include stricter membership requirements and the elimination of its "associate" category. As a result, 22 companies lost their membership or associate membership status. The new requirements, based on a three-year average:

  • At least $200 million per year spent on research
  • Research expenditures equal to at least 10% of global sales

Why it matters: As we said yesterday, this is PhRMA's way of trying to get rid of smaller companies that engage in the controversial practice of buying older drugs and jacking up the prices. Read on to see who's out.

Former members, per PhRMA:

  • AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Horizon Pharma plc
  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc
  • Leadiant Biosciences
  • Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
  • Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.
  • The Medicines Company

Former associate members, per PhRMA:

  • ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  • Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.
  • CSL Behring, LLC
  • Esperion Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  • Grifols USA, LLC
  • Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Marathon Pharmaceuticals, LLC
  • Shionogi Inc.
  • Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Theravance Biopharma
  • Vifor Pharma
  • VIVUS, Inc.

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
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COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.