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13 января, 21:39

Examining Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler's Emissions Cheating Scandals

On today's episode of the Zacks Friday Finish Line podcast, Content Writer Ryan McQueeney and Editor Maddy Johnson take on this week's biggest story: the resolution of Volkswagen's emission cheating scandal and the start of something similar involving Fiat Chrysler.

13 января, 17:30

Fifth Street Asset Management, Cray, CVS Health, Mylan and Impax Laboratories highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

Fifth Street Asset Management, Cray, CVS Health, Mylan and Impax Laboratories highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

13 января, 14:02

Pharma Stock Roundup: Trump Targets Pharma Again, Merck Up on Keytruda News

The sector was once again slammed by president-elect Donald Trump's comments this week regarding drug pricing.

13 января, 05:05

CVS Boosts Access To EpiPen Rival That's Only 17 Percent The Cost

Families who rely on an epinephrine auto-injector to prevent life-threatening allergic reactions now have a more cost-effective option. CVS, the national pharmacy chain, will begin widely stocking the authorized generic version of Adrenaclick, an auto-injector that dispenses epinephrine. The package of two pens costs $109.99. That’s significantly cheaper than the controversial EpiPen, which now costs $649.99 for a two-pack and $339.99 for a generic version of the EpiPen two-pack. People who qualify can get the CVS auto-injector price reduced even further if they use a coupon from Impax Laboratories (the creator of Adrenaclick), which offers a $100 discount per pack for up to three packs.  CVS’ splashy news is just one of many signs that the health care industry is beginning to self-regulate as outrage over costs mount. Some pharmaceutical companies are pledging to limit annual price increases to under 10 percent, while a handful of state Medicaid programs are dropping coverage of brand-name epinephrine auto-injectors like EpiPen and Adrenaclick unless a patient gets authorization first.  Five months ago, there was uproar over EpiPen’s 500 percent price hike, when it rose from $100 for a two-pack in 2009 to more than $600 in 2016. The public reaction forced manufacturer Mylan Pharmaceuticals to expand its coupon program and launch its first-ever generic version of the pen injector.  “EpiPen is based on a century-old drug and a 40-year-old auto-injection technology, and there’s no reason it should cost $600 or even $300-plus,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of the Access to Medicines program at the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen.  Maybarduk praised CVS for its decision to stock a low-cost competitor to the EpiPen and said it was an example of the power of market competition to reduce drug prices. “The most effective way of bringing prices down is through competition,” he said. “We need players like CVS and others to step in and work with alternatives to provide countervailing pressure on price through competition.” Indeed, one of the EpiPen’s main competitors, the Auvi-Q, was recalled over inaccurate dosage issues in October 2015, which helped cement EpiPen’s place as one of the only options for people with life-threatening allergies.  During his first news conference as president-elect, Donald Trump expressed a similar viewpoint, promising to take aim at pharmaceutical companies by creating “new bidding procedures.” This could mean allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices directly with companies. Medicare is currently barred from doing this. Not everyone will be able to make the switch  While the wide availability of the Adrenaclick generic could mean a huge discount for the more than 4 million Americans who need to keep an injectable source of epinephrine with them at all times, it’s important to note that not everyone may be able to make the switch.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not consider differing brands of epinephrine auto-injectors to be therapeutically equivalent to each other, despite the fact that they administer the same active ingredients in the same doses. This is because some, like the EpiPen and Adrenaclick, have injectors that work in slightly different ways from each other. Because of this classification, patients can’t easily substitute a cheaper pen for the brand they are prescribed unless they live in a state that has changed its own regulations to allow it. Alan Sager, professor of health law, policy and management at the Boston University School of Public Health, criticized the FDA’s drug classifications on this matter, calling the protections “anti-competitive.” Because of this regulatory wrinkle, CVS is letting doctors know that the Adrenaclick generic is newly available at their pharmacies. Doctors can either write a prescription for an “epinephrine auto-injector” so patients can have access to the cheaper pen, explained a CVS spokeswoman, or CVS can reach out to a patient’s doctor to ask for permission to change the prescription if the patient requests it.  CVS Pharmacy said it made this decision partly in response to public outcry over the skyrocketing cost of the EpiPen, but USA Today notes that the move could also be a sign of CVS’ expanding clout in negotiations with drugmakers, all in an effort to maintain competitive drug pricing compared with other national pharmacy chains.  This is just one ‘drop in the bucket’   Sager was much more skeptical about the move. Sager praised CVS’ decision to stock epinephrine auto-injectors that were much cheaper than the industry standard, but he also called it a “drop in the bucket” and said that, on the whole, the promise of market competition to lower drug prices is hollow.   “We’ve been hearing about market forces pushing down drug prices for decades. Anybody see much progress?” Sager asked. “This one action will help some companies’ public relations, but it doesn’t signal more affordable meds.” Soaring drug prices, coupled with the proliferation of high-deductible health insurance plans, are an increasing financial burden on the American people. Americans pay more for prescription drugs than people in any other country, and costs are continuing to rise. The reasons for this are complex, but one oft-stated reason is that U.S. pharmaceutical companies rely on the profits they earn from American patients to invest in the research and development of more drugs. President Barack Obama discussed this issue in a recent interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff in which he called other countries who benefit from U.S. pharmaceutical innovation “free riders” on a system that American patients subsidize. About eight in 10 Americans think that prescription drug prices are unreasonable, according to a September poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey respondents supported various cost-cutting measures, including drug importation, independent oversight and price regulation, to reduce costs.  Sager is one of those Americans. To address the “free rider” problem, as Obama put it, Sager is in favor of a cost-sharing scheme among middle- and high-income democracies to more fairly distribute the burden of pharmaceutical research. He also hopes that the U.S. can start to enforce many of the other levers that other rich countries use to keep costs down, such as price caps on medicine. “There are so many millions of Americans who continue to suffer, worry and even die prematurely because they can’t afford the meds their doctors prescribe,” Sager concluded. “It’s an intolerable tragedy, and we need to move on that very, very quickly.” This reporting is brought to you by HuffPost’s health and science platform, The Scope. Like us on Facebook and Twitter and tell us your story:[email protected]   function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

13 января, 02:10

"Fake News" Facebook Lands On List Of "America's Most Hated Companies"

Facebook just can't seem to catch a break lately.  From questionable privacy policies and mass data collection of its users to its handling of the so-called "Fake News" epidemic (see "George Soros Is Funding Facebook's "Third-Party Fact Checking" Organization Targeting 'Fake News'"), Mark Zuckerberg is pissing off a lot of people these days.  Unfortunately, when your entire business model is based on "friending" others, the alienation of various groups has caused enough people to "dislike" Facebook that the company has landed itself on 24/7 Wall Street's list of "America's Most Hated Companies." Coming in at #6, Facebook narrowly beat out Spirit Airlines, which, for anyone who has been left stranded by Spirit in Chicago's O'Hare Airport in the middle of winter, that speaks volumes.  Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) Mylan (NASDAQ: MYL) McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) Wells Fargo Bank (NYSE: WFC) Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) Spirit (NASDAQ: SAVE) DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH) Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD) Sprint (NYSE: S) Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR)   Meanwhile, the two largest cable providers in the country also made the list which is astonishing given their impeccable reputation for such helpful customer service and 100% internet reliability.  But, only about 40% of the households in the U.S. rely on those two companies for service so it's probably not a big deal. But, of the top 12, Facebook was the only Silicon Valley giant to make the list despite, as 24/7 Wall Street points out, being a "boon for shareholders since it's IPO." Facebook has been a boon for shareholders since its IPO. The company’s stock is now trading over 200% higher than its 2012 Wall Street debut. However, not everyone is pleased with the social media platform. In recent years, the company has drawn significant criticism over its privacy policies and the mass data collection of its users.   Recently, the company faced sharp criticism for not doing enough to curb the spread of fake news leading up to the U.S. presidential election. Since then, in an apparent attempt to mend public relations, the company announced a series of new policies aimed at identifying and flagging fake news stories on its site.  Oh well, at least they beat Sears.

13 января, 01:04

Stock Market Roundup, Jan. 12: AMZN Jobs, FCAU Cheating, AKS & X Tank

As investors continued to worry about President-elect Trump's targeting of the pharma industry, new concerns about U.S. industrial stocks help drag the markets down in morning trading Thursday. Nevertheless, stocks bounced back thanks to overall bullish optimism, and the markets ended on a strong afternoon run that saw indexes down just marginally on the day.

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12 января, 22:40

CVS starts selling Impax's cheaper EpiPen rival

(Reuters) - Drugstore chain CVS Health Corp has started selling a generic version of Impax Laboratories Inc's emergency allergy injection, a device similar to Mylan NV's controversial EpiPen.

12 января, 21:05

CVS Debuts Cheap EpiPen Alternative

On Thursday, leading drug store chain CVS Health Corp. (CVS) announced that it is now selling a cheaper alternative to Mylan's (MYL) EpiPen.

12 января, 16:22

Mylan/Biocon's Herceptin Biosimilar under Review in the U.S.

Mylan (MYL) and Biocon Ltd. announced that the FDA had accepted the BLA for their biosimilar version of Herceptin (trastuzumab), MYL-1401O.

12 января, 15:15

Deja Vu for Drug Stocks as Trump Slams Drug Pricing Again

Drug stocks were hit once again with President-elect Donald Trump's comments about the sector at his first news conference since his election in November.

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12 января, 00:42

Valeant Streamlines Portfolio with Skincare Brands Sale

Beleaguered Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX) announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its CeraVe, AcneFree and AMBI skincare brands to L'Or??al for $1.3 billion in cash.

11 января, 17:30

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Insulet, Western Refining, PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust and Extended Stay America

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Insulet, Western Refining, PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust and Extended Stay America

11 января, 02:03

5 Underperformers of 2016: Turnaround Story in 2017?

Based on strong fundamentals, strategic implementation, planned execution, and certain positive catalysts, these five stocks carry a huge upside potential and a high probability of outperforming the S&P 500 market index in the coming days.

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10 января, 20:59

Todd Hagopian's Top Biotech Takeover Targets For 2017

Many biotech stocks took a beating as the likes of Valeant, Mylan, and Turing became a political issue during last year’s presidential campaign. We enter 2017 with many companies priced so attractively that they have become acquisition targets. Todd Hagopian outlines his top takeover targets.

10 января, 17:49

Valeant to Sell Dendreon Unit to Sanpower for $820 Million

Beleaguered Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX) announced that it will sell all the outstanding equity interests in Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to the China based Sanpower Group Co., Ltd.

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07 января, 02:44

Momenta (MNTA) to Receive $50M Under CSL Collaboration

Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (MNTA) entered into an exclusive research collaboration and worldwide license agreement with CSL Limited.

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04 января, 16:29

Endo International (ENDP): Can the Stock Rebound in 2017?

Can Endo make a comeback in 2017 seeing that the company is presently in the middle of the drug pricing controversy?

04 января, 07:35

Social Security, Gaslighting And Idiocracy

The billionaires and millionaires who white "working-class" people (we're told) voted overwhelmingly to put in charge of Washington have already signaled they intend to use the power of the federal government to wage class warfare against their constituents. The Republican assault on the social safety net will go far beyond repealing the Affordable Care Act and is already taking aim at Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Representative Tom Price, the Georgia Republican who Trump nominated to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, has a long history in Congress trying to roll back these vital social insurance programs. In a recent speech, Price voiced his displeasure with the "small number of automatic spending programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which are not subject to annual appropriations." He wants to turn these insurance programs that are funded by payroll taxes with workers and employers both contributing, into "welfare" programs that his department and the Republican Congress can systematically dismantle. On the campaign trail, Trump assured voters he would defend Social Security knowing that calls for gutting it are extremely unpopular even in Trumpland. Millions of struggling working-class Americans depend on Social Security for a lifeline. And since more children are living with their grandparents privatizing it will be like stealing from the elderly, disabled, orphans and children all at the same time. Trump's promises contradict the draconian budgets that Price, who chaired the Budget Committee, and House Speaker Paul Ryan have put forward in recent years. There might be an area of disagreement between Trump, Price, and Ryan on Social Security. But as with everything else, we can't trust a word that comes out of any of their mouths The harmony among Trump and the 115th Congress comes in their quest to de-regulate every corporate special interest they can get away with including banks and credit card companies, food and drug companies, oil and gas companies, Internet Service Providers, and so on and on, leaving workers and consumers to fend for themselves. In an era when we've seen predatory behavior from corporations like Mylan (with its Epipen price gouging) and Wells Fargo (with its fraudulent accounts ripping off unwitting customers), and numerous other examples (including the massive Wall Street fraud that produced the meltdown of 2008), the Republicans' ideological commitment to vague notions of "deregulation" as a panacea for our economic woes is as stubborn as ever. When the economy is in a downturn the Republicans say "times are bad we must cut taxes and deregulate"; when the economy is growing and unemployment is relatively low, they say "times are good we must cut taxes and deregulate." It's pure ideology. The last time around when the Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the presidency (2003-2007) they cut taxes while launching wars that cost a trillion dollars, doubled the national debt, gave away $400 billion to their big donors among pharmaceutical companies, and presided over the worst financial crisis and recession since the Great Depression. The longest serving Republican House Speaker in U.S. history (Dennis Hastert) was later convicted for illegal pay-outs to hide his pedophilia, and Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his friend Jack Abramoff redefined the meaning of "influence peddling" on K Street. Today, the 115th Congress is gearing up to enact the same misguided policies that failed the country so miserably under George W. Bush -- but this time on steroids. Overreach is baked into their ideology. They simply cannot contain their greed. And the Republicans' blind hatred of everything Obama and their zeal to undo everything he accomplished over the past eight years might lead them to discover at some point that the first black president they loathed so much put in place some smart policies that lowered the costs of health care, stabilized the federal budget, and kept us out wars. In 2016, the Republicans brought us a new reality. "Gaslighting" became institutionalized. Instead of having a public debate about the ideas of the candidates and realistically parsing their policy proposals we got bizarre denials of fact and Big Lies that boomeranged back into the discourse in ways that challenged reality itself. One thing we've learned from the Trump juggernaut is that lying works, and lying bigly works even better. As with the run-up to the Iraq War in 2002 the corporate news media in 2016, cable news shows, the networks, and even major news outlets, proved totally unequipped to deal with the new order of things or defend the norms of democratic governance. The editor of the Wall Street Journal has even given up trying to fact check Trump's liars and gaslighters giving them an open platform for their propaganda; no Edward R. Murrows there. When Beltway reporters allow powerful people to come on their shows and lie to them with impunity, and then leave it to their viewers to sort out fact from fiction, we see how low American political "journalism" has sunk. Those in power labor tirelessly to deconstruct our political reality and corporate news media have been their greatest enablers. The same business model that motivated those Macedonian teens who flooded pro-Trump sites with false stories for click bait and eyeballs also animates Jeff Zucker at CNN, Leslie Moonves at CBS, and Rupert Murdoch at Fox. There is one area that might allow for a little pushback against the lies and gaslighting and that's the courts, law schools, and the legal system generally. Despite the inherent injustices between rich and poor in the justice system it still largely exists in the fact-based world. Lawyers can twist and misinterpret the law and the meaning of words but it's much harder to gaslight or to outright lie. In fact, there's even a crime called perjury to dissuade people from lying in court. A court even forced Trump to pay out $25 million to settle the fraud case involving his bogus for-profit eponymous "University." Trump's lawyers didn't try to gaslight their way out of his fraud case - they chose to settle. And Trump's usual tactic of smearing people who challenge him as he did with Judge Gonzalo Curiel failed to make the case disappear. For now, the legal system still functions in the world of facts largely because a lot of rich and powerful people and corporations need it to function that way. How else could Disney or ExxonMobil or Apple or JPMorgan Chase protect their bottom lines, their property and patent rights, their contracts and business dealings if the courts partook in the same kind of crazy-making and gaslighting PR departments and Trump surrogates engage in every day? With the potential conflicts of interest that are already piling up on the Trump White House there might be opportunities for the courts and the legal system generally to re-infuse facts and "reality" back into the wider political discourse. The challenge of the coming period will be to try to hold Trump and his minions accountable to the same fact-based legal standards that forced him to settle the Trump University fraud case. A key battle shaping up will be over the federal courts and whether they too can be dragged into the new Idiocracy. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.