Pfizer’s experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in a new trial, the company said. That’s more effective than Merck’s molnupiravir, which cut the risk in half. (Reuters)

While Democrats’ new drug pricing plan is weaker than the original proposal, it may open the door to more reforms in the future, experts say. It’s also expected to save money for the government and consumers. (Kaiser Health News)

Bluebird bio has signed a lease for new headquarters at Assembly Row in Somerville, MA, hoping to move 425 employees to the site by spring 2022. The move comes after the biotech recently rebranded itself into two companies, with one unit focusing on cancer and the other on rare disease. (Endpoints News)

Big retailers’ push into the healthcare market is just beginning, experts say, and companies like Walmart or Best Buy will need to ramp up their offerings and digital capabilities in order to compete with other startups. “This is the beginning of a long journey for them – they’re testing and learning,” MDisrupt founder Ruby Gadelrab told STAT. (STAT)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a petition against Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Paxton joins the ranks of other Republican attorneys general who have threatened legal challenges against mandates. (CNBC)