Jan 25, 2017

Why drug and medical device companies are nervous


The Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Rockoff has a smart story about the angst of the drug and medical device industries. They're nervous about what the Trump administration could mean for them and are trying to develop relationships with the president's team, Rockoff reports — but they're not really sure who to talk to. Two main reasons for their nerves:

  • They don't want to lose insured, paying customers if Obamacare is repealed.
  • President Trump isn't backing off of his tough talk about negotiating prescription drug prices.

Yes, but: It's not all gloomy rainclouds for the pharmaceutical industry, as Steve Brill has pointed out this week — because the Trump administration is probably going to get rid of the restrictions on marketing drugs for off-label uses, a goal the industry has been trying to achieve for years.

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Experimental coronavirus vaccine to be tested on humans

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The vaccine that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and drugmaker Moderna have been developing to combat the coronavirus is ready to be tested on humans, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Wall Street Journal.

The state of play: The rapidly developed vaccine will be tested on 20–25 healthy volunteers in April to determine whether two doses will be safe and generate an immune response to protect against infection. Results will be available in July or August, Fauci told WSJ.

#MeToo gets Weinstein

A man carries out Weinstein's walker. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist, two years and four months after accusations against him helped ignite the #MeToo movement.

Why it matters: To date, #MeToo has resulted in hundreds of powerful men losing their jobs. Seven have been criminally convicted, with four others still facing charges.