Archive for March, 2013

Pay for Delay

March 31, 2013 | By | Reply More
Pay for Delay

Why is it that generic drug makers sometimes delay entering the market, sometimes long after the drug patent expires? This is another tale in corporatocracy, told by Alternet:

[I]magine you’re a big-time drug company. You want to keep competitors off the market as long as possible. Your move is to basically sue the pants off the generic drugmaker for copyright infringement, setting in motion a long and tortuous legal process. And these usually end with “pay-for-delay” deals. The brand-name drug company pays the generic manufacturer a cash settlement, and the generic manufacturer agrees to delay entry into the market for a number of years. In the case before the Supreme Court, the drug company paid $30 million a year to protect its $125 million annual profit in AndroGel, a testosterone supplement.

It’s hard to see this as anything but bribery, designed to preserve a lucrative monopoly for the brand-name drug maker. In fact, this is what the Federal Trade Commission has argued for over a decade. They consider it a violation of antitrust law, arguing that the exchange of cash gives the generic manufacturer a share of future profits in the drug, specifically to prolong the monopoly. As SCOTUSBlog summarizes from the FTC’s court brief, in the regulator’s view, “Nothing in patent law … validates a system in which brand-name companies could buy off their would-be competitors.” Indeed, everyone wins with pay-for-delay but the consumer: the FTC estimates that the two dozen deals inked in 2012 alone cost drug patients $3.5 billion annually, with the brand-name and generic manufacturers splitting the ill-gotten profits.

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Another batch: my favorite quotes

March 31, 2013 | By | Reply More

Here’s another batch of quotes I have been collecting. It’s a constantly growing collection, supplemented by my personal review of anything I happen to read. I realize that this collection is getting quite large. Here’s the latest batch:

“Live and let live,” writes a clear-headed Austrian officer,
“is no device for an army. Contempt for one’s own comrades, for
the troops of the enemy, and, above all, fierce contempt for
one’s own person, are what war demands of every one. Far better
is it for an army to be too savage, too cruel, too barbarous,
than to possess too much sentimentality and human reasonableness.”
– William James. From The Varieties of Religious Experience.

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.”
― Ivan Illich

“If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people, including me, would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”
-Hunter Thompson

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a ride!”
-Hunter Thompson

“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
-Leonardo da Vinci

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”
H. P. Lovecraft (1890 – 1937), “The Call of Cthulhu”,

“Public speaking is the art of diluting a two-minute idea with a two-hour vocabulary.”
Evan Esar (1899 – 1995)

[More . . . ]

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Bernie Sanders: Way past time to break up the big banks

March 31, 2013 | By | Reply More
Bernie Sanders: Way past time to break up the big banks

Common Dreams reports on Senator Bernie Sander’s new proposal to break up the biggest banks, which have become both too big to fail and too big to jail. They are so big that the top six banks have assets equal to 2/3 of America’s gross national product.

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Delightful unplayable music

March 30, 2013 | By | Reply More

Those of you who read music might enjoy John Stump’s score titled “Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz (from “A tribute to Zdenko G. Fibich”). I ran across this and enjoyed its repeated moments of musical absurdity.

Faerie aire

I searched for some background for the piece and found this:

The composition Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz (from “A Tribute to Zdenko G. Fibich”) by John Stump is an unpublished satirical work written and copyrighted in 1980 that is best known for, simultaneously, its humor and unplayability. The piece is most often seen hanging on the walls in music rooms and orchestral settings for the musicians’ amusement, due to musical directions such as “Rigatoni”, “light explosives now… and… now”, “insert peanuts”, “Moon-walk”, “release the penguins”, and “Like a Dirigible”.

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Existential Ape

March 27, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

This is the funniest Onion News Network report I’ve ever seen. It’s been around for awhile, but I just discovered it.


Scientists Successfully Teach Gorilla It Will Die Someday

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The extent of income inequality in America

March 27, 2013 | By | Reply More

“The numbers in this Alternet article are shocking. We are well on our way to having a country of very poor Americans ruled over by very rich Americans.

Some would say, what are you proposing, COMMUNISM? No, just end the current corporate communism (privatized profits, socialized risks). We need go back to something like the tax codes of prior decades, and consider the other suggestions in the above article as well as the basic principles announced by Dylan Ratigan in his famous rant.

Why should it matter to those who are still reasonably well off that there is a stark growing divide between rich and poor Americans? Because social science has demonstrated the clear correlation between income inequality and societal dysfunction.

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Hanging Around

March 26, 2013 | By | Reply More

This Ukrainian daredevil inflicts vertigo on the rest of us.

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More about tribes

March 25, 2013 | By | Reply More

This, from Blue Street Journal:

Social Psychologist Geoffrey Cohen found that Democrats will typically support a policy proposal that severely restricts entitlements (something typically favored by Republicans) if they think it was proposed by members of their own party. Additionally, Republicans will typically support an extremely generous entitlement program if they think it was proposed by Republicans. In contrast, if a Democrat or Republican thinks that a policy was proposed by the opposing party, they will tend to reject it no matter what it says. This was tested in a lab study where participants were asked to read the policies for themselves. Democrats were led to believe that the policy they were reading was proposed by a Democrat, even though it was actually proposed by a Republican. Republicans were placed in the same scenario, but with a Democratic policy they believed was proposed by a Republican. In both situations, the participants tended to agree with the policy they believed was affiliated with their own party and rejected the policy they believed was affiliated with the opposing party. A second group of Democrats and Republicans rejected the very same ideas that the first groups accepted when they believed that they were proposed by members of the opposing party. This demonstrates that people tend to accept political ideas based on party affiliation rather than the actual content of the ideas.

 

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Monochrome snow

March 24, 2013 | By | Reply More
Monochrome snow

We had a big snowfall in St. Louis today. In the middle of it, I visited the Missouri Botanical Gardens to capture a series of color photos that certainly don’t look like color photos. Except check out the final photo, in which a blue heron is notable.

IMG_9336 Snow MBG - evv

IMG_9321 Snow MBG - evv

IMG_9319 Snow MBG - evv

IMG_9342 Snow MBG - evv

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