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Influencing Doctors

A new study shows that information provided to doctors by pharmaceutical companies results in higher prescribing rates and lower prescribing quality, says Pharmalot's Ed Silverman. The study, published in PLoS Medicine, shows that visits by sales reps, ads in journals, attendance at meetings sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, and participation in sponsored clinical trials all affect what doctors prescribe and how much. "The bottom line: the researchers found that docs who accepted meetings, briefings or other info from drugmakers were more likely to prescribe those products," Silverman says.

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.