Posted by on September 18, 2019 9:52 pm
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Categories: Top Page Links Weekly Update

Editor’s Note: And undermining IP laws promises opposite


Have you ever noticed that “fake news” almost always means bad news?  Of course it’s taken for granted that “real news” usually means the same.  Well, here’s that rarest of treasures, a piece of news that is both real and good, which frankly everyone should be shouting from the rooftops.


A groundbreaking new study, the results of which were published in The Lancet this week, found that combining two of the most commonly prescribed drugs for people recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes reduced the likelihood of treatment failure for newly diagnosed patients by a whopping 49% compared to treatment with only one drug, the current standard of care. Just as important, this new study takes into account the drugs’ efficacy for people in low- and middle-income regions, largely absent from studies on which the current standard of care is based.


To be clear, this wouldn’t be just a matter of a few extra weeks or months, but additional years of improved health in the critical early stages of the disease, when more effective treatment means less irreversible organ damage of the sort that makes the disease both debilitating and deadly. However first the medical community will have to revise the standard of care for type 2 diabetes to make the drug combo, well, standard — expect to hear more about this in coming months.


While the big payoff is clearly a huge decrease in needless pain and suffering, as always there’s a dollars and cents angle too. The treatments in question only cost a few dollars a month, meaning they should be affordable across developing economies, where type 2 diabetes is on the rise.  On that note, the whooshing sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief from public health officials struggling to balance the books for increasingly overtaxed — read, broke — national healthcare systems. Pretty sure this is what they coined the phrase “win-win” for.


Now on to, erm, other news. The circus is coming to New York again — the UN General Assembly is meeting, and once again that means that intellectual property rights are under attack as activists paint a simplistic picture of high prices keeping people from getting the medicines they need.  In fact, healthcare delivery systems are incredibly complex and, in developing countries, very weak. Fragmented distribution networks, taxes, and local regulations play a much bigger role than prices.


But isn’t it easier and so much more fun to wail on drug companies on Twitter, ideally with lots of ampersands & exclamation marks!?


Yawn. I’d rather use my brain — and you can too. Read on!


Featured Opinions

How to improve access to medicines — and how NOT to

— Phil Stevens, Executive Director of Geneva Network


Google investigations aim to protect free market, say state AGs

— Curtis Hill, Indiana Attorney General


Yes, a financial transaction tax is an awful idea

— Tim Worstall, CapX


Brexit has knocked UK politics for a loop… forever?

— Peter Kellner, Carnegie Europe


Docs need options besides opioids for pain

— Ann Robinson, The Guardian



Policy At Work…



Autumn in Washington! President Trump is contemplating war with Iran, even without John Bolton, Congress is bickering about funding the Government and endlessly investigating President Trump (for a good time read Corey Lewandowski’s testimony) while still not passing the U,.S./Mexico/Canada Trade Agreement…which would only brings jobs to America, help America’s consumers and benefit the economies of all three countries. Never losing sight of the goal, free market conservatives continue advancing ideas to move America forward. Here’s a roundup of the week’s activity in Washington…


  • Speaking of Government Shutdowns, Senator Johnson has a Solution. Ron Johnson (R-WI) believes government shutdowns hurt the economy, the American people, and Republicans always get blamed. Hence, the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act (S.1877) introduced by Senator James Lankfiord (R-OK) and co-sponsored by Johnson, Senator Margaret Hassan (D-NH) and Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind). The bill would simply appropriate spending at the previous year’s levels until regular appropriations bill are passed. It would also prohibit either chamber of Congress from considering other legislation (except in cases of emergency) until appropriations bills are passed and would hold member’s pay in escrow until all regular appropriations bills are passed. Now that should provide some motivation.



  • Deficits Don’t Make America Great. The. U.S. economy may be booming, but so is the U.S. deficit…and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Here’s a sobering piece of information: In projected change in debt, 2019 – 2024, in percentage points of GDP of the ten largest advanced economies the U.S. will lead the world in adding debt…by a lot! In fact, projected U.S. increase in debt is nearly double that of the runner-up, Italy. At least that’s the finding of David Ditch, writing for Heritage.


  • Coordinating Transit Funding and Housing Density to Help Solve the Housing Crisis. One problem plus two bureaucracies equals no solution…at least most of the time. Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) has introduced a bill that attempts to bridge the disconnect between Federal transportation funding and local zoning restrictions. The Build More Housing Near Transit Act (with lots of co-sponsors) would instruct the Federal Transportation Administration to take a more complete view of local housing opportunities in its grant making process…in short, lets put the mass transit where the masses can afford to live. Read about it here.


  • They’re Opting Out of Unions on the West Coast. Following the Janus decision the Freedom Foundation has been aggressively targeting union members in Washington state, California and Oregon….and it’s having an effect. To date, their Opt Out Campaign has resulted in over 59,000 union member opt outs and cost unions annual losses of $48,000,000. A big hit to union pocketbooks, union influence and union political power. Now they’re planning on taking the Opt Out campaign to other states. learn more at


  • While the House Dithers with Impeachment, the Senate Burns — Through Trump Appointments. After pushing through rule changes, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has the Senate confirming President Trump’s Judicial and Administrative appointments at a record pace. Last week marked the 150th judicial confirmation — 105 to lower federal courts, 43 circuit courts and 2 Supreme Court justices — with more on the schedule this week. Compared to President Obama’s 20 circuit court and 74 district court appointees in the same period of time, it’s clear that Trump and McConnell are fulfilling the President’s campaign promise to remake the federal bench with a conservative bent.


Upcoming events: Washington is getting busy, lots of interesting and important events coming up.


  • AMERICA’S INDO-PACIFIC POLICY, featuring Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK). Monday, September 23, 3 PM – 4 PM. Reception follows. The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP: org/events.


  • 23rd ANNUAL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FUNDRAISER. Northern Virginia GOP PAC. Monday, September 23, 7:30 PM. Alto Plaza Restaurant, 5800 Old Centreville Rd., Centreville. $20. Donate online at, Info: James Parmelee – (703)502-0161.


  • COUNTERING HUMAN TRAFFICKING. A symposium of corporate efforts to combat the evil of modern slavery, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. September 24 in Washington. Times, location and RSVP at


  • REASON, FAITH, AND THE STRUGGLE FOR WESTERN CIVILIZATION. Book presentation and discussion by the author, Samuel Gregg. Tuesday, September 24, 12 PM – 1 PM, Heritage Foundation’s Lehman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE. RSVP: org/events.


  • SAVE THE DATE: Senator Robert Griffey and Howard Jenkins, Jr. Induction into the U.S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor. Thursday, September 26, 2 PM. U.S. Dept. Of labor. Contact Rudy Olivo, Office of Public Liaison. 202-63-6000.


  • SUPREME COURT PREVIEW OF THE 2019-2020 TERM, featuring The Hon. Paul Clement, 43rd Solicitor General of the United States. Thursday, September 26, 12 PM – 1 PM, the Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP: org/events.


  • SHOULD THE PRESS BE RESTRAINED? Re-examine Libel Laws. Panel Discussion. Thursday, October 3, 12 PM – PM, The Heritage Foundation’s Lehman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP: org/events.


  • COSM, A National Technology Summit Presented by Discovery Institute. October 23-25, Seattle, WA. Info at


  • DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION Annual Gala. Courage Under Fire Award: The Honorable Lindsey Graham. October 30, The Mayflower Hotel, Washington. Cocktails 6 PM, Dinner 7 PM, Dancing 8:30 PM. Info:


  • Austrian Economics Center, Hayek Institut, and Fundacion Internacional Bases, are organizing a conference with top tier intellectual contributors on the subject, Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century, November 13-14, Vienna, Austria. Web site.