Saturday, March 18, 2023

An Update -- Mr. Obama's Would-Be Winners, Duke -- Were Ousted Today... But His Youth Engagement Programs Are The Clear WINNERS (Again This Year)!

As he did last year, Mr. Obama's foundation,, is sponsoring about a dozen young people with a full ride, to go learn about careers in sports TV and media, as well as the business of sports management at the Final Four (this year hosted down in Houston). For many, it is their first plane trip in their lives.

Additionally, last year's crop of Final Four interns spent part of the past summer at Ravensbourne University, in London -- in a two-week immersive program -- exploring how US basketball culture influences fashion, art and music in the United States, and around the world. Here is all that outstanding news:

. . .On and off the court, we inspire changemakers to take action and empower them with tools and connections to change their world for the better. . . .

Last summer, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance sent four Chicago students across the pond to participate in a cultural exchange program at Ravensbourne University London, which was hosted by Vault49. For two weeks, one spent in London and the other in Chicago, MBK program participants joined together with students from London to explore how basketball culture influences the fashion, art, design, and music of their cities.

Check out what the students learned on their cultural exchange journey:

As March Madness continues, we’re thrilled to share that nearly one dozen bright young men and women will represent the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and the Girls Opportunity Alliance in Houston, Texas during the NCAA men’s and women’s Final Four tournaments.

To help you celebrate March Madness all tournament long, we created basketball-themed digital stickers and backgrounds [which may be downladed at the bottom of this linked page]. . . .

And, perhaps trivially (in view of the above), this may mark the second year in a row that I best Mr. Obama, in the bracket competition. You see, Duke was ousted earlier today, and he had the Blue Devils winning the whole thing. He also had Kansas going very deep, and had Purdue. All those teams are already gone, in this year of shocking upsets.

As I said before St. Padraich's, we diverged mightily on our tourney picks this year. And due to upsets, like last year (at the moment, at least) my picks have me near the top twenty per cent, nationally (of about 6 million entrants) -- while the Duke thing takes him to about the 65th percentile (at the moment).

Grin -- but every morning, Mr. Obama's foundation, through what started as a silly sports diversion -- has led the way in improving the lives of all sorts of Americans. So. . . Kudos, Mr. President!


Tanzania Sees Seven New Cases; With Five Unexplained Deaths -- Lab Results Pending; Ebola [Or Marburg...] Suspected.

It is important, as a matter of epidemiology, to note that Tanzania shares a border with. . . Uganda, where the last Ebola flare-up originated, late last Fall.

But it is also possible that this could be a travelling chain, from a nearby Guinea outbreak, as well -- as it is still in the throes of a Marburg outbreak. We may only hope that it is a strain of Ebola that is highly-responsive to the existing approved vaccines. We shall see -- but here is the latest, in the clearly troubling news:

. . .Health officials in Tanzania are investigating an illness that killed five people in the country's northwest with Ebola-like symptoms, raising fears that it could be the deadly virus.

Tanzania’s Ministry of Health late Thursday issued a statement saying seven people in northwest Kagera region showed symptoms such as fever, vomiting, bleeding and kidney failure.

The Kagera province / region borders Tanzania’s northern neighbor Uganda, which had an outbreak of the rare Sudan strain of Ebola from September last year to January that was blamed for 77 deaths. . . .

Now you know. Here is to hoping that the Tangerine stain is. . . booked, fingerprinted (and likely bailed out) -- by Tuesday night. That would (on balance) be good news, indeed. It would be. . . progress. Out, on a clear but zero degree wind chill Second Round Saturday. Let's go, Marquette (and Northwestern)!


Well… This Is… Utterly Predictable. And Utterly… Deplorable.

Tangerine said (from his own mouth -- on his social media site) overnight, in public, that he will be arrested, on Tuesday.

Y A W N.

Couldn't possibly happen to a nicer guy. [Then he called for his supporters to protest.]

Yep. This man is an absolute. . . narcissistic sociopath. He is going to be arrested for crimes he personally committed in lying about bribes around a sex-scandal involving his own bedroom conduct. . . and he calls for (wait for it!) national protests.

"Take our nation back!" he yells. Truly, I guess the GOP now should be seen as the party of officially-approved, bought and paid for (unlawful) sex (not that I really care what Stormy Daniels does, or doesn't do -- but I do care when Trump lies about it), and makes undisclosed payoffs / bribes from campaign funds, and completely prevaricates. . . about it all (as GOP Commander in Chief!). Folks, I give you the GOP's front runner (according to all its own internal polling!) for the White House, in 2024.

I guess, in Trump's view, that's what makes "his nation" great (again). And all without. . . a peep, from those nutty far right frothers. [They continue to think that some group of law students, heckling a grown man -- an old federal judge (from an elite law school, and full of his own robe's powers), in the storied halls of another elite PRIVATE law school (i.e., at a private gathering) is the No. 1 barn-burning emergency our nation faces. Sheesh.]

And for the record, Trump has also repeatedly said recently -- in public -- that the mayhem of 01.06.21 may, in many ways, be blamed on. . . Mike Pence. Hilarious.

Damn. Just damn.


Friday, March 17, 2023

"Saints and Begorrah!" Faced With Discovery Sanctions At NLRB, Amazon Moves To Settle A Passel Of Its Unfair Labor Charges

[Another of our once a month "look-ins", on Amazon's atrocious labor practices -- and their longer-term consequences. This month: good news, for the little guys -- and a call-back, to the US Molly Maguires, of mining labor unrest fame in the 1880s to early 1900s!]

Earlier this month, the Amazon Labor Union lawyers moved for sanctions against Amazon, for foot-dragging on delivering documents, and that motion was joined by the General Counsel of the NLRB Region. As a result, if the court hearing it decided that Amazon had in fact violated the discovery rules, one fairly-likely outcome could be that Amazon could not offer large portions of what would have been management's testimony and documents against the unfair labor practices charges.

So -- wisely, I think -- yesterday, Amazon's lawyers filed a motion to move at least ten cases to a settlement judge. Essentially, the company realizes. . . it is unlikely to prevail, so it is time to settle. We will let you know when / if that motion to go to settlement judge proceedings is granted -- but I do expect it will be. Here's the latest, filed yesterday:

. . .Pursuant to Section 102.35(b) of the Board’s Rules and Regulations, Respondent Services LLC (hereinafter the “Respondent”) hereby requests the appointment of a settlement judge other than the trial judge in order to more efficiently resolve the ongoing litigation contained in the above-captioned cases as well as the allegations contained in Consolidated Case Nos. 29-CA-280153, 29-CA-286577, 29-CA-287614, 29-CA-290880, 29-CA-292392, 29-CA-295663 and Consolidated Case Nos. 29-CA-292844, 29 CA-293838, 29-CA-294857, and 29-CA-299139. Respondent hereby requests an opportunity to present oral argument regarding this Request at the earliest convenience of the ALJ and parties to this case. . . .

Now you know. And since Amazon is the moving party -- if a settlement is reached, Amazon will have to waive any right to appeal the outcome. That's good news, for us stateside Molly Maguires. Okay. . . time to go make some green-dyed mashed potatoes -- to go with green-dyed chicken for dinner! Éire go Brách. . . Hah!


Some Women's History At NASA -- And A Reminder, About Appropriate Humility... On STEM, Too

This just struck me as immensely appropriate -- on the saint's day.

He's been gone for now 1,558 years. . . but I think he'd approve of her story here -- on his day. And the name Bolles (or its older variant, Bowles) is clearly linked to a very long line, on the Emerald Isle. . . so, there is that. Here -- do enjoy, from NASA:

. . ."There are a lot of things I can do that other people who are 'able-bodied' can't. For example, I was at Costco, and they hadn't opened the doors yet, so we were all waiting outside (Costco customers, gotta love them. Every day is Black Friday).

Anyway, I'm sitting there at the door waiting to go in. The security guard was trying to separate these two flatbed carts, and I asked him, and I was sincere when I said this, I go, 'Do you want help?' [He says] ‘Oh, hahaha no, no.’ And that really makes me mad.

“Nine out of ten times when I offer my help, that's the response. Number one, people think I'm joking. Number two, how could I ever be helpful? Somebody in my position, 'my position,' right?

"So, he gave up, and I took my chair and quickly hit the carts at the right spot. Because of my chair being heavy, I was able to separate them. Did that teach him a lesson not to do that ever again? Probably not. But the truth is, I was able to do that, and he wasn't. And he would never guess I could do something he can't do.

“I wish people would look at us and say, wow, I wonder what she can do that is really cool, because that's how I look at my community. I don't look at the fact that they can't walk. I look and wonder what they could do. I would like to see [more of] that, so I'll keep offering my help. People need to realize not to make assumptions. Be open and curious about the abilities of everybody.

“They say if you live long enough, there's a good chance you'll join this community. And just remember, if that were to happen, don't give up because with the right resources, you can have a great life. I know people who have become disabled who tell me their life didn't begin until they became part of the community because it's given them this whole new perspective and value to people, to the human spirit.

“And that's what I like to impart to everybody; don't feel sorry for me because, with the right help, it's great."

– Dana Bolles, External Information Technology Lead, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters

[Original Base] Image Credit: NASA / Aubrey Gemignani
Interviewer: NASA / Tahira Allen. . . .

Onward, smiling ear to ear. . . be excellent to one another.


Tangent: Former SGP CSO Dr. Thomas Koestler Will Probably Have His Lawyer In The Room, When Martin Shkreli Is Deposed By FTC Counsel, Next Week.

Just this morning, on St. Padraich's '23, Dr. Koestler advises that he's secured a "no objection" from FTC and the state AGs, to his team's attending as a listener, when Martin is asked under oath about his assets and income sources, next week.

It is highly likely that the able USDC Judge Cote will grant him that priviledge, thus (afterall both of the suits seek money from Martin, and all from the same highly dissipated pool of remaining assets -- their interests overlap, if not strictly identical: GET PAID):

. . .We represent to the Court that we and the Receiver have communicated about this application to the plaintiffs in FTC et al. v. Vyera Pharmaceuticals, LLC, et al., No. 20-cv-00706-DLC (S.D.N.Y.) (the “FTC Action”), and have their permission, at our request, to represent to Your Honor that the plaintiff Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) and plaintiff State Attorneys General do not object to our request. . . .

Accordingly, on behalf of the Judgment Creditor, and with the Receiver, we ask the Court to direct Mr. Shkreli (by issuance of an Order or by a subpoena to be issued by the Court) to provide Dr. Koestler (through counsel) and the Receiver a copy of all disclosures Mr. Shkreli has made and will make to the FTC and State Attorneys General in connection with the Judgment they have obtained against Mr. Shkreli in the Action. We also ask that the Court permit us (as counsel) and the Receiver to attend (virtually or in person), depositions of Mr. Shkreli which those parties may conduct and to have a transcript of those depositions
. . . .

Well. . . this could mean that a fair bit of whatever is said in the FTC depositions ends up in the public docket, in the suit in Manhattan on behalf of Dr. Koestler, who is trying to collect about $4.6 million in a judgment owed by Mr. Shkreli, and unpaid since about 2015.

Onward -- and top o' the mornin', to ya'!


Thursday, March 16, 2023

Women's Bracketology 2023 Edition: Condor Vs. Mr. Obama!

Now, for part two -- since the women hadn't tipped yet (by the time I finally got a free hour to make my selections, not having looked at BHO 44's sheet), and all the picks we each made are now in at CBS Sports, to be machine scored, and take all the hand labor out of it. . . here are my guesses -- but we both have South Carolina to do it all.

In fact, in this year's case (completely unlike the men's brackets), we disagree only very modestly. . . which probably means he will likely best me again this year in the women's bracket picking (perhaps I should be running a third one, against Mr. Biden's picks, since his are public this year -- but I've been battling BHO 44 since 2010, so this is mostly about continuity):

Cheers! And. . . Erin Go Brah!


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Time (Again!) To Challenge Mr. Obama's Bracketology: 2023 Edition!

I think he and I disagree more fundamentally, and on more picks this year, than at any time since about 2012. [Click below to embiggify and print to follow along, or place your own bets.]

In all that time, I've only beaten him twice. And last year, though we were very close in our thinking, I managed to eek out a win.

This year, one of us is going to slaughter the other -- and the winner will likely be clear by the Round of 32. But we shall see. [Interestingly, he made no pick in the Xavier vs. Pitt game -- he had a likely error; a blank. But I will spot him that, if Xavier wins it.]

As ever, my picks are in green, his: handwritten in black ink. Feel free to follow along -- I'll have more commentary as the games through Saturday night are concluded. [Obviously, I'm a believer in. . . Marquette, this year. Hah!]


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Zetia® Anti-Competitive Price Practices Class Action Will Be All In One Phase; One Jury -- For Liability And Damages, On Two Sets Of Alleged Injured Parties.

The trial date in this likely to be multi-billion dollar matter is now just about one month off -- April 17, 2023.

Overnight, the court denied a series of opposing motions to either bi-furcate -- or tri-furcate(!) -- the trial, and use separate juries, to address the differing damages status of some of the retail purchasers of Zetia.

The able USDC trial judge feels, quite rightly, that streamlining it will reduce confusion, and conserve judicial resources. It also presumes juries will follow multi-step instructions.

And so, on Pi Day 2023, we watch as one of the final Fred Hassan legacy debacles. . . approaches a likely multi-billion dollar reckoning, at the ringside -- here, almost 12 years -- and at least a thousand posts. . . later (on this topic, alone).

That's quite a kick in the head. Smile. . . .


Monday, March 13, 2023

Pfizer Will Spend $43 Billion To Get Seagen’s Oncology Meds Portfolio…

Not surprising, as we mentioned this possibilty last month -- though the price (at $229/share) is a little lighter than I would have guessed.

Pfizer needs the deal, and despite what some commenters are saying. . . it will clear Hart-Scott later this year.

Here's the WSJ on it:

. . .Seagen, which is based outside Seattle, helped pioneer a class of drugs known as antibody drug conjugates that can home in on tumors to strike them with a toxic agent.

Pfizer, of New York, has been looking for acquisitions to help it offset losses in sales expected as some top-selling drugs lose patent protection in the next several years. . . .

Now you know, and it looks like some banking contagion / uncertainty will continue to roil the broader markets this week.

And. . . I wouldn't expect the overnight Bitcoin bounce to be durable. Onward!


Sunday, March 12, 2023

[U: Second "Crypto-Bank" Seized, Sunday Night!] Why SVB Failed, According To Discredited Reagan/Stockman "Supply Siders": Supply Siders Don't/Can't Get The "Why" Right...

UPDATED @ 6 PM EDT 03.12.2023: A second dubious crypto-blind eye bank has been seized by NY State authorities. This one on a Sunday night. That is. . . alarming in and of itself. We have been reporting on the investigations that suggest Signature may have been turning a blind eye to outright fraud by Sam Bankman-Fried, and his imploded crypto- empire called FTX. Now. . . it is. . . ghost meat. End, update.

Some guy, quoting the economist John Phelan, says (grossly oversimplifying) that the federal government's supply of easy money meant that Silicon Valley Bank couldn't earn enough spread between deposits and its loans. That may in part turn out to be true (but we have to wait to see the year end 2022 loan book, and deposit base to be certain -- not yet available).

But he then goes on to say (in effect) that the federal government caused the collapse of SVB. That stimulus packages, then followed by higher rates -- to tame inflation. . . were the proximate cause.

That ignores one clear reality: private sector / tech sector lending hubris. Bank executives awash in cash, looking to juice a little extra yield, on the asset base.

Several have capably made the argument that SVB was just too flush with cash in the 2020 to 2021 time frame. It had scads of tech project borrowers who were being literally firehosed with private equity money, into the billions, to deliver. . . nothing.

The "to the moon" Bitcoin marketeers, and the vaporware geniuses were fleecing equity financiers (who went along willingly, as did SVB -- by vast lendings). These techs vastly overhired, then fired (and ruined several downtowns in the process) and outright failed -- in many cases. That left SVB with lots of bad, or problem, loans.

Then several parts of these sector participants imploded in shockingly obvious frauds: FTX, 3AC, Luna, Terra (and many others). That took down pure crypto- bankers, Silvergate and off-shore fly by night exchanges. And the yields SVB had been long chasing -- by financing the whole sector. . . mostly dried up. [Or will await bankruptcy court resolutions in a year or so.]

So, to my eye, it was much more the fact that these SVB executives, acting in a capitalist fever and a myopia, tried to put too much money to work, in too many dubious projects.

That -- without a doubt -- is in no manner the fault of the government. And thank God, Yellen and the fed will not offer SVB a bailout. The depositors will mostly be okay, if they had $250,000 or less in the bank. Others, above that amount, will need to await asset sales to see more recovery.

Again, these failed "supply siders" cannot accept their allied teams' responsibility for bad personal decisions (a few of them ran a small bank for several years in Minnesota, as well).

So they. . . know better.

Updated, Noon on 03.12.2023: Another of them has also written to complain that Janet Yellen hasn't spoken specifically enough about "no bailouts", for SVB.

That is. . . false. To my ear, she said there will be no bailout (other than pre-existing FDIC deposit insurance payouts). And several MSM sources, including AP and Reuters, now are reporting that an auction is being held this afternoon, to see if any deep pockets want to bid for the whole of SVB as an intact entity -- and keep running it. That is a purely private sector auction -- not a "bailout".

So -- in sum, let these bankers clean up their own mess, and put their own new risk capital to work. Not more of my federal tax dollars.

Is that clear enough? [He too ran that small Minnesota bank. So he too. . . knows better.]



Saturday, March 11, 2023

First "Vigilante / Bounty Hunter" Suit Now Filed In Texas: Women Who Aided An Ex-Wife In Abortion... Sued For $1 Million. Appalling.

I am pretty much left speechless, by this.

The idea that the GOP in Texas thinks people of good will will want to live for any amount of time, under this oppressive regime. . . is puzzling to me at least.

Here is that appallingly misguided action, as allowed (at least for now) by Texas's fundamentally unconstitutional statute:

. . .Three women in Texas are being sued for wrongful death by a man who claims they helped his now-ex-wife obtain medication for an abortion. It's another test of state-enforced bans since the U.S. Supreme court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision.

In a lawsuit filed late Thursday in Galveston County, Marcus Silva alleges assisting in a self-administered abortion is tantamount to aiding a murder. Silva is seeking $1 million in damages.

The woman who took the medication in July -- weeks after the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion that had been in place since 1973 -- is not named in the lawsuit. Texas law protects women who get an abortion from being held liable. . . .

This suit is destined to be tossed, if need be, on appeal. And Mr. Silva ought to ashamed of himself. Onward, with better things ahead this afternoon, on a gray Saturday.


Friday, March 10, 2023

Oops. Second Largest Bank Failure In US History: SVB -- Echo Of 2008... And, 1929.

To be clear, in under 24 hours, it has been shuttered. Closed. But not by FDIC -- by California state authorities.

And yes, this is contagion -- but in broader tech capital markets. But it is/was also a crypto- friendly banker. [As Billy showed us -- this is a(nother) huge trainwreck. . . .]

It seems that few want to plunk new capital into Silicon Valley Bank, which lends into start up tech sectors, more widely. [I followed all the money it lost, lending to a public company called Mattersight (that ran software for call centers -- like 8X8) about a decade ago. That company was bought, at near liquidation prices, by NICE, Inc.]

So -- now we wait, as Billy points out. . . to see whether anyone will put new money in. Updated. Nope.

Or whether FDIC will have to cover it, with a bailout -- as Ackman wants. Nope; state closed it around noon today, Eastern.

The rest will wait until after the snows. . . stop.


Thursday, March 9, 2023

History May Not Echo... But It Occasionally... Rhymes.

I'll just leave this reinvigorated bit of litigation posturing (by what was Schering-Plough -- and later Merck) here.

I may stop back and explain why it matters, here almost 16 years later. . . from those long-lost Mylan battles. . . or I may not.

We shall see.

I guess it depends how busy my Friday turns out to be -- and how much snow falls, in the afternoon.

If curled up on the hearth, by the fire, I will get to it. Before shoveling, that is.

We shall see. Smile. . . .


Team Tangerine Again Tries To Flim-Flam The Courts, In Two Jurisdictions -- With Prevaricating Delay Tactics. Y A W N.

I note it here not because it is in any manner surprising -- but because in civil courts, like these -- this is often. . . lethal.

Team Tangerine is lying in two courts at once, about civil cases that have been pending for six and seven years. And now he is going to claim that his need to run for preznit is more important that answering in the courts, for his dishonesty. This will be droll. Here's the latest letter cross-filed in New York state court:

. . .We write with respect to the Court’s December 13, 2022 Order, ECF 507, which set a “firm” trial date of January 29, 2024 in this action, to bring to the Court’s attention recent filings by Defendants in People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump, et al., Index No. 452564/2022 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty.) (the “NYAG Case”), that not only seek to delay the trial in that case, but also propose a new schedule that (believe it or not) would appear to conflict with the firm trial date set by this Court, a date that was set based on Defendants’ representations and assurances -- indeed, at their request. . . .

This is. . . just. . . deplorable conduct by the former "leader" of the free world. Not surprising. Just. . . disgusting. Out.


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

An Odd Eye-Opener, This Morning: The Vaccine Science May Be Solid... But I'd Be Cautious About Investing With This Billionaire...

A full run down of the history of one Phillip Frost, MD's various investment and public company leadership travails is beyond the scope of this blog. But I covered him, tangentially -- related to a bitcoin mining company now called Riot Platforms, about four years ago.

Suffice it to say that his associations with one Miami area serial securities "pumper and dumper" / fraudster Barry Honig, now banned by the SEC and FINRA from working in the securities industry, as well as this settled action. . . should raise eyebrows. [Opko's latest quarter was. . . a train-wreck.]

But this morning, this largely flailing diagnostics and R&D med-tech company has popped 25% (another "pump"?), because Dr. Frost's been able to ink a deal to have Merck license an EBV vaccine candidate, should it make it through trials. Merck is only putting in $50 million upfront, but Team Frost is hyping the remote possibility of over a billion in revenue, if the whole thing goes perfectly.

For now at least, I will assume that Rahway has done solid due diligence on the science here -- and that the vaccine looks promising perhaps in spite of this company's past, since it was acquired by Opko in a deal from Sanofi. [But Rob Davis better know who he's dealing with, as it is unusual for a major to allow a fly-by-night to draft off of its good name. That's all I'll say for now.] To be sure, we will keep an eye on it. Here's the latest, off the wires:

. . .Opko will receive an upfront payment of $50 million and is eligible for milestone payments of up to $872.5 million, plus royalties on global sales.

There is currently no vaccine for the Epstein-Barr virus, which is the leading cause of mononucleosis, or mono, commonly called the "kissing disease". . . .

To be fair, Frost has also leveraged a relationship with Pfizer, in the last two years. But, were I a skeptic, I might start looking to see who all bought into Opko after the trashy quarterly results two weeks ago -- and who stands to make "dump" style profits on this hyped announcement, there. At this point, in my experienced opinion, the billion dollars is a pure puffery claim. Damn.


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Merck's Stock Jumps Almost $4 Overnight, On Sotatercept's Fine Showing At San Diego's ACC 2023...

This is indeed very good news (as we first mentioned back in October of 2022). That's when the top line results first came out. Rahway is seeing a nice -- and justified -- NYSE price bump for it. [Original September 2021 item here.]

Sotatercept clearly vindicates the wisdom of spending over $11.5 billion to acquire Acceleron about two and half years ago. And it is good to see Merck posting a next-gen potential cardiovascular candidate -- in a very high burden disease, in the US.

This is why I'm not concerned about the eventual 2035 patent expiries for pembrolizumab. Merck has a fleet of great products likely to reach US markets between now and then. Here's FierceBiotech on it all, from San Diego and ACC:

. . .Entering the last day of the American College of Cardiology's annual conference, the Big Pharma is trotting out new phase 2 data of its anti-PCSK9 drug, finding that it reduced particular kinds of cholesterol by up to 61% compared to placebo.

Meanwhile, expanded phase 3 data of sotatercept, added onto background therapy, has exceeded the expectations of Chief Medical Officer Eliav Barr, M.D. “It just hits the right receptor,” he said in an interview with Fierce Biotech.

Sotatercept was the prized jewel in the company’s $11.5 billion purchase of Acceleron Pharma in 2021. The cardio med aimed at treating pulmonary arterial hypertension improved patients’ six-minute walk distance by more than 40 meters after 24 weeks compared to placebo, hitting the primary endpoint of the 323-patient trial.

The therapy also reduced the risk of clinical worsening or death by 84% compared to placebo for a median follow-up of 32.7 weeks, according to the conference presentation. What's more, sotatercept had a slightly lower discontinuation rate due to treatment-related side effects than placebo patients. . . .

Now you know -- and well done, Rahway. [As a point of fair balance though, I should note that Merck laid off some 170 of the former Acceleron science staff just exactly one year ago. . . citing changing research priorities (even though it acquired the whole company at bargain basement prices).] Onward into a warm sunshine here. . . . grin.


Monday, March 6, 2023

After Governors In Red States Pressured Walgreens Into Ending Sales Of "Morning After" Pills...

The State of California has let it be known today that US women's rights to health care choices. . . eclipse GOP political grand-standing. It should be remembered that California, were itself a nation, would be the fifth largest economy on the planet.

So Gov. Newsom has said the state won't spend state funds in Walgreens outlets until it once again stocks choice meds. . . nation-wide.

Without regard to ones' personal religious or moral views here -- it must be my continuing position that (like the position taken by state leaders in California and Illinois) women and their doctors should make these decisions -- privately, and for themselves. It is not the state GOP organization's right or role to foreclose choices in health care state wide, in the states where they control the legislatures and mansions. Of course, other pharmacies will likely still stock the meds anyway -- or a woman in need may drive across state lines to get it. . . but this idea (like Florida's book banning ways, mentioned last night). . . must be resisted, forcefully:

. . .Gov. Gavin Newsom said California will cut ties with Walgreens over the company’s decision to stop selling abortion medication in 20 Republican states.

“California won’t be doing business with Walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk,” Newsom tweeted Monday. “We’re done. . . .”

I think it laughable. . . that Walgreens decided to prefer the few hundred thousand GOP people of say Wyoming over the fifth largest economy on the planet. But if boycotts are needed to preserve choice. . . then so be it. Onward.


The Catholic Church Banned It, On This Day — In 1616.

It was deemed a dangerous, forbidden truth: that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and not vice versa.

March 5, 1616: the truth could no longer be printed, taught or drawn in the sand.

A book by Copernicus was. . . banned.

Yes, I’m looking at Florida’s book banning commissions, and her “don’t say gay” Governor DeSantis.

You. Will. Be. Revealed. And. Removed.


Saturday, March 4, 2023

We’ve Followed The US Albuterol Shortages For Sixteen Years…

This problem has flared on and off for as long as we've been following the SGP saga -- now over 16 years.

With generic availability in 2008, selling prices cratered. . . and several manufacturers just ceased production altogether. It is expected that by mid 2024, a new US sourced generic will come online, but until then. . . this will be a pinch point / kink in the system:

. . .Albuterol is amid a federally declared shortage, according to the Food and Drug Administration. One of the drug’s major suppliers estimates it won’t have enough product until at least July, while another has no timeline listed, according to the FDA’s website. . . .

After the bankruptcy of Akorn in 2022, and the closure of its Illinois facility, the forecast is for stockoits through 2024. . . .

Now you know -- and it looks like Marquette may get a top four seed next weekend. Grin. . . . .