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.


Government Can’t Explain Change in 2002 TSA Contract

The modification to the contract involved switching the interview sites for tens of thousands of airline passenger screener jobs from a contractor’s own assessment centers to hotels and luxury resorts.

Federal auditors eventually called into question an array of expenses, including charges of $525 for an airport shuttle trip in Tallahassee, $7,920 for beverage breaks at a Manhattan hotel and $514,000 to rent tents in Boston.

So let’s get this straight. Homeland Security changed from using classrooms to using luxury hotels, we got charged $343 million for this, and no one can explain why?

I want someone’s head on a plate.