FROM Aaron Kesselheim
An old drug gets a ridiculously high price….again Are incentives for so-called "orphan drugs" being misused to jack up the price of one medication by 4000 percent? Photo by Chris Potter A rare form of muscular dystrophy has long been treated in the US by a steroid imported from overseas at a price of $1200 a year. Now the FDA has approved its manufacture and distribution in this country by the drug company Marathon. The new price is $89,000 a year — reduced to $54,000 after rebates and discounts. We get perspective from Carolyn Johnson, who covers the business of medicine for the Washington Post , and Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, a professor of medicine at Harvard, where he's also Director of the program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law.
Doctors, Drug Companies and Transparency In an effort to get doctors to prescribe their drugs to patients, drug makers spend billions of dollars a year on meals, speaking and consulting fees, and other perks for physicians. Today, a new government database goes online that will list the money pharmaceutical companies spend on doctors.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."