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We'll Take a Slice of that $57.5 Billion

At In the Pipeline, Derek Lowe discusses a recent paper in PLoS Medicine that estimates that drug companies spent $57.5 billion on marketing in 2004 -- nearly twice what was spent on R&D. The authors, Marc-André Gagnon and Joel Lexchin, say that those figures show that advertising is more important than R&D to the pharmaceutical industry. Lowe says the authors missed a major point -- advertising, in the long run, brings in more money than the cost of the campaign. "Drug research involves money, and plenty of it. Advertising brings in more money, which is why it exists," he writes.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.