Mandatory Gardasil; rising Medicare prescription costs;

> The RPM Report posted five rules of thumb to consider when replacing Andy von Eschenbach's job as FDA commissioner, noting that the process could take a while and that the result could be Steve Nissen. Report 

> Everyone is talking about whether Gardasil should be on the list of mandatory vaccines as Merck would like; now some academics are chiming in and saying why that's not such a great idea. Report 

> Dorothy McLaughlin, a 79-year-old woman of Vigo County, says that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) released from a Pfizer plant contaminated her property, so she is suing Pfizer for damages. Report 

>Indian pharmaceutical companies supply about 16 percent of the drugs the United States imports and its generics sector is welcoming Obama, although the President-elect has made statements about reducing the U.S. level of outsourcing. Report

> Although countless seniors already cannot afford the costs of their prescription medications, two analyses show that in the coming year many on Medicare will pay a far greater average in monthly premiums than they did in 2006. Report

> Investors might see some interesting movement in the Spanish stock market today, as Almirall announced that it will be marketing a Pfizer hypertension drug in Spain. Report

> Bayer and Johnson & Johnson's presented results from a Phase II study of experimental anti-clotting drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban) at the American Heart Association's annual meeting. In the study, rivaroxaban was found to cut heart attacks by 31 percent in patients taking aspirin and in some cases Plavix. Report

> TorreyPines Therapeutics announced yesterday that it has sold its Alzheimer's disease genetics research program to Eisai for an undisclosed up-front cash payment. Report

> South San Francisco-based Anesiva released a host of announcements yesterday. Among them, the company's Phase II trial of Adlea narrowly missed the primary endpoint of reducing post-surgical pain following bunionectomy surgery. The company also announced its dropping its transdermal pain patch Zingo and cutting staff. Report

> Hit by declining Byetta sales, Amylin Pharmaceuticals is cutting 340 jobs in San Diego and reducing anticipated 2009 cash expenditures by more than $80 million. Report

> Scientists at Boston's Children's Hospital have discovered a way to regenerate damaged nerve cells. Report

> Researchers at MIT have developed synthetic patches that can attach to cells and be used to deliver drugs to a target area in the body. Report

And Finally... Pharmacy schools might start to see drops in numbers of faculty members due to decreased interest in pharma careers, faculty retirements, time required for advanced degrees, increasing numbers of new pharmacy schools and foreign students returning to their native countries after receiving an education in the U.S.  The predictions come from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, which predicts the loss of close to 40 percent of faculty positions at U.S. pharmacy schools by the year 2020. Report