atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5313: A gorgeous last day of August

Temps in the low 70s, dewpoint 60, windows open and fans off. Yahoo.

* * *

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say (again) that they can't find dark matter because there is no dark matter to be found. Like the luminiferous ether, it's a theory based on an incorrect assumption about the nature of the universe.
Most jarringly, dark matter could be largely illusory, indicative of a flaw in our understanding of gravity via Einstein's theory of general relativity. Various theories of "modified gravity" that suggest the force weakens under certain circumstances can explain some dark matter observations--particularly the dynamics of galaxies--but struggle to account for dark matter–attributed details astronomers see in galaxy clusters and in the big bang's afterglow.
At this point, I'd say this is the most likely scenario.

* * *

Speaking of the most likely scenario, the SETI signal is man-made and did not come from that star some 91 light-years distant. It was ever thus.

* * *

The federal government plays a role in ensuring that medical care remains expensive. Because the government has set itself up as gatekeeper, EpiPen has a monopoly on automatic adrenaline injectors, and can charge whatever it likes for one. So about $0.10 worth of generic epinephrine costs $500 with the fancy packaging.
When Mylan decided to sell EpiPens for $300, in any normal system somebody would have made their own EpiPens and sold them for less. It wouldn't have been hard. Its active ingredient, epinephrine, is off-patent, was being synthesized as early as 1906, and costs about ten cents per EpiPen-load.

Why don't they? They keep trying, and the FDA keeps refusing to approve them for human use. For example, in 2009, a group called Teva Pharmaceuticals announced a plan to sell their own EpiPens in the US. The makers of the original EpiPen sued them, saying that they had patented the idea epinephrine-injecting devices. Teva successfully fended off the challenge and brought its product to the FDA, which rejected it because of "certain major deficiencies". As far as I know, nobody has ever publicly said what the problem was--we can only hope they at least told Teva.
I'll tell you what those "certain major deficiencies" are: Teva didn't bribe enough congressmen or FDA officials. ("EpiPen manufacturer Mylan Inc spends about a million dollars on lobbying per year.")

Turns out there is an alternative, called "Adrenaclick", but FDA regulations require that if the doctor writes an RX for "EpiPen", that's what the pharmacist must fill; he can't substitute a generic:
If you know anything at all about doctors, you know that they have way too much institutional inertia to change from writing one word on a prescription pad to writing a totally different word on a prescription pad, especially if the second word is almost twice as long, and especially especially if it’s just to do something silly like save a patient money. I have an attending who, whenever we are dealing with anything other than a life-or-death matter, just dismisses it with "Nobody ever died from X", and I can totally hear him saying "Nobody ever died from paying extra for an adrenaline injector". So Adrenaclick continues to languish in obscurity.
Emphasis mine. As with an RX I once picked up for Mrs. Fungus: why prescribe the $10 drug when you can prescribe one that costs $93?

The last four paragraphs are a must-read. And this is why pharmaceuticals cost so much in the United States.

* * *

The mainstream media is finishing a task it started in 2008.

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Anti-fracking ballot initiatives fail to get enough signatures in Colorado. Because most people like having good jobs.

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This is because climatology is not science. Climatology is a religion--a cult--which is why it cannot tolerate skeptics and naysayers.

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If you want to know how bad the global economy is doing I suggest looking no further than here, where we are told the 7th biggest global shipper is in bankruptcy. Hanjin. How many times do you drive down the highway and see a semi hauling a Hanjin container?

This is bad, bad, bad news.

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Chicago does not have a gun problem. Chicago has a gang problem. It's had a gang problem for a long time.

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Today's XKCD:

I got a laugh out of that one.

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