The Daily Rise: Tuesday, May 3

State Spotlight: Opposition to CA Price Controls

The Orange County Register editorial board weighs in against a ballot measure that would impose price controls in California. The “California Drug Price Relief Act,” which is slated for the November ballot, would ban state agencies from paying more than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for the same products.

“It will only lead to less innovation and a diminished supply of drugs,” the Register writes. “In order to reduce the cost of drugs without the harmful economic side effects, we should be eliminating the regulations that unnecessarily raise the cost of producing medicines, retard drug development and cause people to languish and die while awaiting the approval of the FDA bureaucracy.”

The Register reminds its readers of the 10 year and $2.6 billion development process, according to research published in March by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

“It is much more difficult to place a cost on the suffering of people who never receive treatment because government regulation delays its availability or prevents remedies from ever being created,” the paper concludes.

Stifling Progress in Liver Cancer Treatment

The American Enterprise Institute’s Joel M. Zinberg says that liver cancer patients could be in jeopardy if the American College of Physicians is successful in its effort to impose new regulations on treatments.

More than 28,000 U.S. patients are diagnosed with liver cancer every year with a five-year survival rate of just 16 percent. However, Zinberg is optimistic that advances in innovation have effectively changed those statistics.

“The desire to do something — anything — to limit six figure drug prices is understandable, but it doesn’t justify destroying the private market competition that has beaten back nearly all kinds of cancer,” Zinberg writes. “Liver cancer can be added to the list and millions spared the painful death of end-stage liver failure — if policymakers are wise enough to reject the price controls that would choke off medical progress.”

Bipartisanship on Zika

The 2016 presidential campaign rhetoric has reached a fever pitch. But, there are signs of bipartisanship in Washington, D.C.

Morning Consult’s Mary Ellen Mcintire shares word of progress on the Obama administration’s funding request for research into Zika virus. Florida Republicans Marco Rubio and Rep. Vern Buchanan are both supporting the administration’s $1.9 billion funding request.

“Zika’s shadow is spreading too quickly in Florida, which has one quarter of all the Zika cases in the United States,” Buchanan said in a press release. “The rest of the country should keep in mind that summer is coming and so are the mosquitoes. Congress needs to act quickly.”

Marathon #95

Congrats to our friend Don Wright, who completed his 95th marathon since being diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  On Sunday, the 75-year-old finished the OC Marathon, and he did it with a time that was 25 minutes faster than his last race in Boise.

“Orange County marathon, #95 with cancer, went VERY WELL!,” he posted on Facebook after the race. “I was a little concerned, because this is the fifth week of a new therapy, but my finish time was 6:33:53, 25 minutes faster than the marathon three weeks ago in Boise. And I feel very good – tired muscles but no pain to speak of.”

We’re proud that, of the 14,000 participants in this year’s race, the Orange County Register highlighted Don’s effort as he “travels around the country participating in marathons and raising awareness for multiple myeloma and support organizations such as Patients Rising.”

“I’m living proof that there is life after myeloma,” Wright told the Register.

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