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Free market capitalism depends on a free market, unencumbered by the heavy hand of government.

News Items / Re: EpiPen price hike puts bipartisan heat on Democratic senator's daughter
« Last post by Ken on August 26, 2016, 02:13:00 PM »
That's because this industry is no longer a capitalist one, but a crony capitalist one, controlled by politicians.......
A 10cc vial of epi from a medical supply house is around $12.  A box of 100 syringes with needles is $24.  They will make pretty much 100 doses of epi for anaphylaxis (0.3mg IM/SC), or $36/100=$0.36.  We won't talk about alcohol swabs because the epipen doesn't have any.

Also, epi has a shelf life of at least 3 years.  I would have no problem using epi that was clear, at least 2-3 years post expiration date.

So tell me why an epi-pen, which Mylan didn't develop, or bring to market, lasts 1 year and costs $300 each?  The only significant change I've seen in them in the last 20 years is the packaging.

And why is the FDA dragging it's feet on the adrenaclick, which is as near a 1:1 replacement for the epipen as I can imagine? 

And why has the Manchin daughter received a 400% salary increase, and a $62-million golden parachute if Mylan merges with anyone, while the cost of the epi-pen has gone up 600% in the same timeframe?  Why does she not receive the same opprobrium as the guy who raised AIDS drugs 1000% overnight?

I am as much of a supporter of capitalism and free markets as anyone else.  But the market for epipens is not free (it's highly regulated by the FDA) and therefore there needs to be some control to avoid this sort of gouging, or the market needs to be made free.
Chatter / How the super-rich are making their homes ‘invisible’
« Last post by Ken on August 26, 2016, 05:53:42 AM »

How the super-rich are making their homes ‘invisible’
[/size]Privacy is perhaps the greatest luxury anyone can buy, hence the trend for properties hidden from prying eyes and online searches
News Items / Re: EpiPen price hike puts bipartisan heat on Democratic senator's daughter
« Last post by Ken on August 26, 2016, 04:52:50 AM »
Idiots, Of course the CEO can't explain that the pricing structure is the direct result of Dodd/Frank Law.(which I assume her Dad voted for)

DoddFrank makes it so that you CAN NOT pay overtime or the greater cost for manufacturing, when the demand is higher, thus you Always have to manufacture extra, and thus everyone must pay the cost......

For drugs that are seasonal in demand, there is no other choice, if their patients are to receive their needed dosage, and of course, at need.

News Items / EpiPen price hike puts bipartisan heat on Democratic senator's daughter
« Last post by Ken on August 26, 2016, 04:43:44 AM »
EpiPen price hike puts bipartisan heat on Democratic senator's daughter

[/size]The mounting congressional scrutiny of pharmaceutical giant Mylan over its 400 percent price hike for EpiPen has created an awkward situation on Capitol Hill for Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin -- his daughter runs the company at the center of the scandal. [/color]
[/size]Colleagues on both sides of the aisle, as well as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, are now slamming Mylan and demanding investigations into why prices were jacked so high on the lifesaving allergy treatment drug.[/color]
[/size]The uproar over the increase has become a public relations nightmare for Mylan, CEO Heather Bresch and Manchin, who finally broke his silence on the subject Thursday.[/color]
[/size]“I am aware of the questions my colleagues and many parents are asking and frankly I share their concerns about the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs,” Manchin said in a written statement. “Today I heard Mylan’s initial response, and I am sure Mylan will have a more comprehensive and formal response to those questions.”[/color]
[/size]Manchin, a former West Virginia governor who has served in the U.S. Senate since 2010, said he would work with his “colleagues and all interested parties to lower the price of prescription drugs and to continue to improve our health care system.”[/color]
[/size]But his comments come days after his colleagues called out his daughter’s company.[/color]
[/size]Several senators – including Amy Klobuchar, whose daughter uses an EpiPen – have pressed the Food and Drug Administration for answers and asked if alternatives to the EpiPen are in the works.[/color]
[/size]Klobuchar also wants the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing to investigate the enormous increase in the price of EpiPens. The Minnesota senator sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission to look into whether Mylan violated antitrust laws. [/color]
[/size]For its part, the company said Thursday it is voluntarily reducing the patient cost of EpiPen through savings cards which will cover up to $300 for a two-pack of EpiPen, but some say it’s not enough.[/color]
[/size]Admittedly, Manchin is in a tight spot. In the past, he has taken the lead in going after pharmaceutical companies.[/color]
[/size]He played a big role in pushing to get controversial painkiller Zohydro ER permanently shelved despite the FDA approving the powerful opiate.[/color]
[/size]Manchin, whose home state leads the nation in prescription overdoses and abuse, worked with both Republicans and Democratic lawmakers to overturn the approval.[/color]
[/size]At the time, some questioned his motives, since his campaign to kill Zohydro could benefit his daughter’s company.[/color]
[/size]Though the Mylan epi-scandal hits close to home, Klobuchar believes the senior senator’s connections in Congress won’t deter his colleagues from pursuing answers.[/color]
[/size]“I think we have an obligation to the American people to do our job regardless of who is related to who at a company,” she told reporters Wednesday. “And I have never seen Senator Manchin intervene himself in any of these cases involving this company. I’ve never seen that happen. I know him very well.”[/color]
[/size]On Monday, Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Mark Warner, D-Va., also sent a letter to Bresch demanding an explanation. [/color]
[/size]Bresch tried to defend the company's pricing in an interview with CNBC. She seemed to struggle to justify the jump in price but said lowering the price wasn’t an option.[/color]
[/size]“Had we reduced the list price, I couldn’t ensure that everyone who needs an EpiPen gets one,” she said. She argued that much of the $608 price for a two-pack goes to other middle men in the health care consumer chain. [/color]
[/size]But Grassley said in a statement that the price is still what Medicare and insurers have to pay, regardless of the pledge to offset the cost for some patients. [/color]
[/size]Another fact not lost on angry customers is that as the price for EpiPens grew, so did Bresch’s own compensation, which spiked more than 671 percent to $18.9 million last year.[/color]
[/size]The price hike debate has also made it to the campaign trail.[/color]
[/size]Clinton called the company’s pricing strategy “outrageous” and a “troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers.”[/color]


U.S. Army Fears Major War Likely Within Five Years -- But Lacks The Money To Prepare


[size=inherit]Loren Thompson[/size][/font]
[size=inherit] CONTRIBUTOR
[size=inherit][size=0.75em][/color]I write about national security, especially its business dimensions. [/size][/font][/size][size=inherit]
[/size]Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.[/font][/size][size=inherit]Nothing focuses the mind like fear. What’s focusing the minds of U.S. Army leaders right now is the fear that they will be in a major war within five years. They know they’ll be fighting terrorists and insurgents for the foreseeable future, but what really preoccupies them is the likely return of large-scale conventional conflict — maybe with Russia in Eastern Europe, or Iran in the Middle East, or North Korea in Northeast Asia. Maybe in all three places.[/size][size=inherit]Senior Army officials are circumspect about discussing the danger in open forums — they don’t want to advertise U.S. vulnerabilities — but it seems clear that the Obama administration’s “pivot to the Pacific” announced in 2012 has created a geopolitical vacuum stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Persian Gulf that Russia and Iran are trying to fill. Meanwhile, the unpredictable government of North Korea continues its bellicose behavior toward the South, which the U.S. is pledged to defend.[/size][size=inherit]There isn’t much appetite for new wars in [/color]Washington, but U.S. leaders would have little choice if these countries sought to impose their will by force in neighboring nations. Whether aggression took the form of subversion or outright invasion, the U.S. would have to respond, because success for the attackers would drastically alter the global landscape to America’s detriment. It doesn’t take much imagination to see what it would mean if Russian forces were back in the heart of Europe, or Iran controlled most Middle East oil, or North Korea overran the South.[/size][size=inherit]
[/size]The Army’s Stryker armored troop carrier built by General Dynamics has performed well against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in a fight with Russian forces it would require a more powerful gun and better underside protection in the form of a double-V shaped hull to dissipate blast energy. (Retrieved from Wikipedia)[size=inherit]

What worries Army planners is that their service isn’t adequately prepared for any of these scenarios — much less a situation in which more than one unfolded simultaneously. Not only have U.S. ground forces been drawn down in Europe and Asia as Washington sought to rely more on air power and sea power for regional security, but investment in new technology for land combat is at a low ebb. The Army’s entire budget for developing and producing new equipment, from tanks to missiles to helicopters to howitzers, amounts to barely two days of federal spending annually.The level of spending is almost unbelievably low. The Army spends less on procuring wheeled and tracked vehicles in a year than [/color]General Motors [/size]GM -0.91%[/size]
[/size][size=inherit] generates in sales each week. Its $3.6 billion budget request for helicopter procurement, about eight hours worth of federal spending at current rates, is focused mainly on upgrading Reagan-era rotorcraft because it can’t afford to buy new ones. Its ammunition budget ($1.5 billion) isn’t much more than what Americans spend on fireworks each year (around $1 billion).[/font][/font][/size][/font]
Electronics / Kaleidescape
« Last post by Ken on August 25, 2016, 09:24:59 AM »


The Bad:  This system is a hardware based system, that's not cheap.

The Good:  While you can add Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD or DVD's (with the right equipment), you can also get 11,000+ Movies and 2000+ TV Seasons, online.

If you got all kinds of money, you can just about get any Movie or TV Season,  of quality.  BUT, it won't be available, until the video's are legally released, either digitally or via Disc. (in other words, no porn, or soft-core at most-nothing that bothers me)
It all depends....but if there is a biological agent with a moderately long latency period (the time between exposure and frank symptoms) then a LOT of people can get infected before anyone realizes there is a problem.

And those infected people, once they have symptoms, will be going to hospitals (out in public) or needing care (with the probably infected caregivers going out in public).  People will not stockpile 100% of what they need - they will always find something their planning comes up short on.

And then, even in Germany, you have the folks that just won't do what the government tells them.  More typically various non-german ethnicities.  And when the government agents (police) try and enforce the rules, they get exposed.

I'm not even sure that my place in Montana would provide safety, I may be exposed on the way there.  Thats the insidious nature of biologic agents.   Imagine a situation like the 1917 influenza epidemic (read John Barry's The Great Influenza if you haven't) with a much more tenacious, manmade agent.

Having two weeks of food and water isn't going to do much in terms of bio prep, except let everyone die at home...

The Germans are very efficient.
The concept of self-quarantine is no longer effective?
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