Daily Archives: December 2, 2009

Being the President is both easy and hard

It is not easy running for President of the U.S. or the leader of any country, in general. It’s a demanding job. So why do I say it is easy? Well, I got the idea from this chart:

Look at Ronald Reagan’s approval rating. I think this is representative of alot of leaders, and it basically boils down to this: if you want to be elected or re-elected, the economy has to be good and you have to be scandal-free.  If you can manage that, your popularity will be high enough to get re-elected. If you can’t, then you don’t get re-elected. Now that’s very hard, because it is very hard, if not impossible, to control the economy. And it can be very hard to keep all your staff scandal free. Which also makes the job easy, once you realize that much of getting rehired (i.e. re-elected) is out of your hands! Sure, you can do alot of things. But getting re-elected is mostly about the economy and scandals.

Drug-Makers Paying Off Competitors To Keep Cheap Generics Off Market

This sounds almost too hard to believe. According to TPM, Drug-Makers Paying Off Competitors To Keep Cheap Generics Off Market.
Indeed:

Over the last few years, drug-makers have embraced a startlingly simple tactic for fending off competition from generic brands: paying them off. In a nutshell, the company that holds the patent on a profitable drug strikes a deal with the maker of the cheaper generic brand: you hold off on marketing your generic for several years, and in return, we’ll give you a share of our profits on the drug.

So common have these deals become lately that they’ve been given a name: pay-for-delay. The approach — a textbook anti-competitive tactic — is worth billions to drug-makers, because it essentially allows them to buy more protection than their patent confers.

That was made more or less explicit by Frank Balsino, the CEO of Cephalon, which makes the sleep-disorder drug Provigil. In a 2006 interview, Baldino trumpeted recent deals with four generic drug-makers that kept generic versions of Provigil off the market until 2012, declaring: “We were able to get six more years of patent protection. That’s $4 billion in sales that no one expected.”

Whatever the reason for this — good, bad, or indifferent — it adds up to greater costs to the consumer and the organizations that insure them. It also sounds like abuse of the patent process. To say the least.

The Irish Rover / Humpday music

Here’s something to help you get through the middle of the work week.

The Pogues, Christy Moore & The Dubliners- Irish Rover @ the Dubliners 25th year show on RTE on perform Irish Rover.