Medicare

Medicaid Chief Demands "Affordable Prices" From Major Drug Suppliers

In the next phase of the Obama administration's other war on drugs, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a letter to the CEOs of four large drug providers (AbbVie, Gilead, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck), warning that "manufacturers have a role to play in ensuring access and affordability to these medications," asking for "value-based purchasing arrangements." While there is no "or else" in the letter, the focus on 'significance to many', 'costs', and 'accessible' suggest an overhang of government intervention as new specialty drugs account for nearly a third of overall costs, but represent less than 1% of prescriptions.

The Military-Industrial Complex's Latest Best Friend - Barack Obama

The Pentagon just won another small skirmish in its long war with Social Security and Medicare. That is the unstated message of the budget deal just announced gleefully by congressional leaders and the President.  To understand why, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.

Paul Ryan Elected 54th House Speaker - Live Feed

Having received the support of the various warring (and whining) factions within the Republican Party, Paul Ryan has just garnered enough votes to become the 54th House Speaker. As CNN reports, Ryan began turning the page on Wednesday, telling reporters after his party's internal vote that, "we are not going to have a House that looks like it's looked the last two years. We are going to move forward. We are going to unify. Our party has lost its vision, and we are going to replace it with a vision."

GOP Debate III: The Battle Of Boulder Begins - Live Feed

It's that time again. From 'jolted' Jeb to 'cool' Carly and from 'calm' Carson to 'turmoiling' Trump, for some of the GOP presidential nominee candidates, tonight could be the last hoorah in a campaign that has seen apolitical entrants dominate the mainstream Washington muppets. Moderated by John "I never met a Republican I didn't like" Harwood, we are sure there will be some tension as the "general health of the economy" planned focus may morph into any and everything as the debate pushes beyond two hours. Please watch responsibly...

Good Riddance To Johnny Lawnchair: The Fastest Fold On The Potomac

There are few political hacks in Washington more deserving of everlasting ignominy than retiring speaker John Boehner. So here’s a vehement good riddance to the man who has single-handedly destroyed whatever pathetic semblance of fiscal responsibility that remained in Washington.

Don't Think The Status Quo Will Save You

Don't think the Status Quo will save you, or make good on its vast multitude of promises. Naive faith in promises and fantasies isn't helpful in the real world.

As China 'Buys Low' To Build SPR, Washington Forced To Sell Strategic Crude To Meet Budget

The signs of regime change are everywhere. From embarrassment by Russia's success in Syria to China's creation of its own 'World Bank' and SWIFT alternative, the trend of de-empirization are growing, but tonight's news that Washington will sell oil from its strategic reserve in order to meet budget constraints and avoid default (as China takes advantage of low prices to build its own reserves) is simply stunning in its analogy of the shifting world order.

Bernie Sanders, Don't Kid Yourself!

If Bernie Sanders really believes that socialism is the solution, then he is misguided – even though his criticism of oligarchic cronyism is justified. Socialists believe that the society is just one “organic body” and as with all such entities resources are used indiscriminately by the organism so as to support its various functions, organs, faculties, etc., never mind who produces and who consumes the resources; those are for the whole system to use as is needed: “From each according to his/her ability, to each according to his/her need!” Trouble is some of the people will have to decide about all this.  It is not automatic, contrary to what Marxists think. And here is where the politicians and their appointed bureaucrats enter the picture.

Hillary Clinton Pretends to Be Progressive: She's Actually Conservative

Reality is only what a politician does  in office, not about mere rhetoric. Even when rhetoric is great, such as it was with Abraham Lincoln, it has relied upon honesty in order to be able to be so. Lying rhetoric tends simply to be forgotten by historians. It shouldn’t be, even if this requires us to remember some very bad rhetoric. Lies can be very important, no matter how bad the rhetoric might happen to be. History should deal with what’s important. So should voters.

Competitor Offers Equivalent To Turing's Scandalous $750 Pill For Just $1

Having become an overnight social and industry outcast, at least Turing Pharma's Martin Shkreli had one thing going for him: a business model that afforded him solid margins, because despite promising to cut the price of the scandalous Daraprim, Turing did not do that. Now, however, even that may be in jeopardy following news that San Diego-based specialty drug maker Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, says it can make a close, customized version of Daraprim for a paltry $1 a pill, NBC reports. That's a big contrast to the $750-a-dose that Shkreli said Turing was going to start charging for the same drug. 

A Fatal Accident Waiting To Happen: U.S. Healthcare

Many of the systems we take for granted are historical accidents. Either based on legacy systems hundreds of years old (higher education) or assembled in a short-term, ad hoc fashion (post-1940 national defense/ national security), these systems have expanded into vast patronage systems that are completely out of touch with 21st century needs, costs or realities. The U.S. healthcare system was not planned; it is largely accidental.

Frontrunning: October 20

  • Canada's Trudeau topples PM Harper in shock election win (Reuters)
  • Where Canada’s Harper Hit Hurdles (WSJ)
  • Pugnacious Trudeau Steps Out of Father's Shadow and Into Power (BBG)
  • European Stocks Decline, Euro Rallies as ECB QE Optimism Fades (BBG)
  • Valeant, Under Pressure About Price Increases, Plans Changes (WSJ)
  • Syrian rebels say they receive more weapons for Aleppo battle (Reuters)

Hillary Clinton Sends Letter To FTC Demanding Review Of Pharma Industry, Turing's "Anticompetitive Practices"

For those wondering if Hillary Clinton's feud with the pharmaceutical industry in general, and with Turing Pharma's Martin Shkreli in particular, is over we just got the answer: it is only just getting started. Moments ago Reuters reported that Clinton has sent a letter to the FTC for recommendations on "changing laws to prevent anticompetitive practices", with a focus on Turing which has become a poster child for all that is wrong with the US specialty pharma industry, and the pharmaceutical industry in general.