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.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.