Dept of Pure Evil: Genentech says “no substitutions”

Genentech makes an eye drug called Lucentis. It’s expensive: $2000/month. They also make a cancer drug called Avastin. It’s inexpensive: $40/month.

The two drugs are chemically very similar. So similar, in fact, that compounding pharmacies are repackaging Avastin and doctors are prescribing it for the eye problem.

Genentech doesn’t like this. They want the money for Lucentis. So, they’re stopping shipment of Avastin to all the pharmacies and sending it only to hospital pharmacies or directly to doctors. Furthermore, they’re refusing participate in the NIH study to confirm or reject the similar usefulness of the two drugs, and not even providing drugs at cost to the study as is customary.

Result? $1-$3 billion more a year of taxpayer money into Medicare, because almost all the patients involved are over 65. I think it’s great how the drug companies selflessly do research and development to keep us all healt… yeah.

Wall St. Journal article below.

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THEY KILL FOR LULZ

Once again my local FOX affiliate takes on the big issues. In this case, the shadowy, malevolent hacker underground group that will do anything for LULZ: spoilers, gay porn, myspace hacking, and blowing up the same car over and over. Phil Shuman, you’ve once again raised the bar for satire.

Bob Trout’s Patented Landlord Revenge Method

To be used only as a last resort if evicted by or fleeing a truly evil landlord. Note: extremely illegal; may result in fines or imprisonment. Not endorsed by anyone sane.

Freeze 2 lbs ground meat.

Place frozen ground meat in five or so concentric zip-lock freezer bags. Make hole in wall large enough to admit bagged frozen meat.

Place meat in hole.

Plaster and paint over hole so that it appears to be just fine.

Move out.

Roughly six months later a damp explosion occurs, causing a stench that no man can smell and live, and requiring the destruction of the apartment.

Marketing, Part III: Run over by “Cars”

The promoters of the movie Cars have rented the entire automotive journalism establishment for a month. It’s amazing. Every car magazine, tv show, web site, blog-where-people-are-paid, everything is simultaneously doing “stories” relating to that movie.

I realized things were headed this way in publishing some time in the 1980s when I walked by the big newsstand on Cahuenga in Hollywood and saw the same actress’s face literally 15 in a row, 15 different magazines, all the same month, promoting the same star of the same movie.

In artillery, a “time on target” is a technique in which different batteries at different locations and distances from a target time each of their firings so that all of the shells arrive in the same place at the same time, multiplying their effect with terrifying simultaneity from all directions.

The marketers have us bracketed and they are firing for effect. Help!