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Hey, Merck, All the Other Pharmas and Biotechs Want to Thank You

"You wouldn't know it from the lack of fanfare, but the Food and Drug Administration is getting its biggest overhaul in a decade in a dramatic coda to Merck's withdrawal of the blockbuster painkiller Vioxx three years ago." So begins this article from Forbes, which details the changes outlined for the agency in a new bill that has passed both the US House and Senate and is expected to be signed into law. "The bill represents a victory for advocates of higher standards for making sure that drug side effects are known and promptly dealt with," the article says, noting that major changes include more authority for FDA in labeling claims; the ability to require drug companies to conduct clinical trials even after a drug is approved; and a rule that companies list clinical trials and results in a national, publicly accessible online database.


The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.