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Third Circuit Blocks Hospital Merger in Key Victory for FTC on Geographic Market Definition Print E-mail
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Saturday, 01 October 2016 10:49

On September 27, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit handed an important victory to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in a closely watched hospital merger case involving two Harrisburg-area health systems: Penn State Hershey Medical Center (Hershey) and PinnacleHealth System (Pinnacle). Earlier in 2016, the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania denied the FTC's motion to enjoin the proposed merger pending conclusion of an administrative proceeding. The lower court held that the agency failed to define a relevant geographic market and thus could not demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits as required for the grant of an injunction.

The Third Circuit reversed, finding that the lower court erred in both the formulation and the application of the proper legal test to determine the relevant geographic market. The court's decision was based on its conclusion that...

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 October 2016 13:38
'Drew could have died': The lasting lessons of the hit that launched Tom Brady Print E-mail
Written by Greg Bedard | Sports Illustrated   
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 17:10

The famous blow <to New England Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe>, which occurred on a warm and humid night when the Patriots honored the victims and first responders to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in their first home game, certainly altered NFL history. It also served as a valuable lesson for the sports medicine community.

Dr. Thomas Gill IV, who was a Patriots team physician in 2001 and went on to serve as the team doctor from '06 to '14, is an internationally recognized leader in sports medicine and has taught and lectured at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He continues to work closely with a half dozen, hand-chosen residents and fellows each year, and lectures around the country.

In almost every one of his lectures, Gill includes a picture of <Jets linebacker Mo> Lewis's hit on Bledsoe.

"That play probably taught more generations of medical students, residents and sports medicine specialists to think outside the box a little bit and not jump to conclusions," says Gill.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 17:15
Thinking straight about orphan drugs, Part 5 Print E-mail
Written by Nicholas Bagley | The Incidental Economist   
Thursday, 22 September 2016 00:00

In my last post, I canvassed two common ways that manufacturers game the Orphan Drug Act. Today I'll cover the third-"salami slicing."

Many common diseases have subtypes, and manufacturers can seek to approve a drug either for the broader disease or for those subtypes. When some of the subtypes can be characterized as orphan diseases, the manufacturer may be tempted to seek approval for one subtype after another, earning seven years of marketing exclusivity for each new approval. As a result, a drug that's targeted at a population much larger than 200,000 people can call itself an orphan.

The practice is known as "salami slicing," and the FDA tries to guard against it by approving only medically plausible disease subsets. The challenge is that lots of disease subsets are...

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Last Updated on Saturday, 24 September 2016 10:32
Rick Scott Urges Action; More Zika Dollars Needed Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 19 September 2016 16:55

In a September 15, 2016 CBS Miami post by Michele Gillen:
Fresh off his visit to the nation's capital, Gov. Rick Scott...<couldn't> shake his concern over the lack of action in Congress to pass a Zika funding bill. Despite a full court appeal and push from many Florida leaders, he returned from D.C. empty handed.
...The governor also called on the Center for Disease Control to step up promised assistance to Florida.
...there is also a backlog of Zika prevention kits. The CDC is on record saying that it will soon run out of funding if Congress does not take action.
Meanwhile, state and local officials say South Florida is facing a public health crisis over the spread of Zika and community concern is growing over the use of aerial spraying over Miami Beach.
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>
Last Updated on Monday, 10 October 2016 18:30
Thinking Straight About Orphan Drugs, Part 4 Print E-mail
Written by Nicholas Bagley | The Incidental Economist   
Thursday, 15 September 2016 00:00

Even if the Orphan Drug Act were working properly, its enormous costs might outweigh its exiguous benefits. But it's not working properly. Drug manufacturers are gaming the Act in at least three important ways.
  • They are recycling
  • They're pushing their products for unapproved uses
  • And they're salami slicing.
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Last Updated on Friday, 16 September 2016 17:08
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