From the financial analysts at Medacorp Research:

BiDil (NTMD): BiDil is an oral tablet that combines two cardiac medications, hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate. BiDil was approved by the FDA in June 2005 for the treatment of CHF in black patients, who number at least 750,000 out of a total U.S. CHF patient population of 5 million. Our consultants expect rapid adoption of BiDil as an addition to standard therapy in 30-40% of their black CHF patients, as well as off-label use in 10-15% of non-black CHF patients. Although the two components of BiDil are available in generic form at an estimated $300 annual cost of therapy as opposed to an estimated $2,500 annual cost of therapy for BiDil, cardiologists believe that BiDil’s decreased pill burden will result in improved compliance with therapy and warrants the increased cost.

So there you have it. You tell one group of patients: ‘you’re gonna die if you don’t take this pill three times a day’ and another group ‘you’re gonna die if you don’t take these two pills three times a day.’ The first group take their pill, because it’s easy to do. The second group, faced with the inconvenience and complication of taking two pills, don’t.

I may have an abnormally strong will to live, but I’ve got to tell you: if I were in that second group, I’d find a way to take the two pills. And I might even understand why insurers and HMO’s would cover me for the $300-a-year two-pill regimen but not the $2,500 one-pill regimen, since both contain the same ingredients.


If you have TiVo, the one-two combination, of course, is Jon Stewart at 11pm on Comedy Central and Nightline at 11:35pm (in most places) on ABC. In very different ways, they are voices of reason not to be missed.

Jon Stewart you know. (After playing clips from an uncharacteristically aggressive press scrum with Scott McClellan, Stewart leaned into the camera to confide to the audience at home, in a whisper, ‘The White House press corps has been secretly replaced with real reporters.’) If only The Daily Show were really daily, not just Monday through Thursday! But fake news is hard.

Nightline may be past your bedtime, but that’s why God invented VCRs and now (never One to rest on His laurels) DVRs. Perpetually on the verge of being cancelled for something more profitable, Nightline, now in its 25th year, manages to deliver remarkable programs almost every night. One recent program took us inside North Korea. Another showed Bill Cosby‘s crusade to reach lower-economic inner city youth. Another: Warren Buffett on nuclear proliferation. Another: the stem cell debate. This past Friday, there was an amazing story about SCUBA diving to a depth of nearly 900 feet in a South African cave.

There will be the occasional topic that doesn’t interest you. But you’ll know that in the first minute. Or – if you’re trying to decide whether to tape Nightline or Jay Leno (what? you have only one TiVo?) – you may want to sign up for the daily e-mail that previews each night’s show.

I know Ted Koppel may retire one day. Lord knows he’s earned it. But as tremendous a talent as Koppel is, there is a whole team of talented producers and others who make Nightline what it is. Thanks to Disney/ABC for sticking with Nightline, even if begrudgingly. It would be in the interest of their audience and their country, certainly, but also, I think, their shareholders, to give it another 25 years. In the long run, something this good can’t hurt the value of their franchise.


Paul Austin:This article [SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL MUST STAND, MAJORITY SAY . . . poll suggests 55 per cent want it untouched] is the sort of thing that makes me proud to be a Canadian and scares me that my kids are headed to be Americans.’

☞ Marriage equality means that committed couples willing to assume the responsibilities of marriage should be allowed to do so, and receive the benefits, regardless of things like their racial composition (illegal in some states until 1967), fertility (infertile couples should be permitted to marry even though procreation is impossible), or sexual orientation. I heard on the news the other day that the average marriage in America lasts 8 years. If true (and this site seems to confirm it), Charles and I have you guys beat. Why shouldn’t we have the same inheritance rights, auto-rental rights, Social Security survivor rights – and on and on – as you?

I understand it’s a concept that takes some getting used to. Hats off to the 60% or so of Americans who have come around to favor ‘civil unions or marriage.’ Hats off to our neighbors to the North who are apparently even a little further along.


Richard: ‘The argument for PCRIX is that it should have a negative correlation with equities (and a slightly positive return), thereby lowering overall risk by producing a more diversified portfolio.’


Ralph Sierra:That was an excellent Krugman column on Rove, but I think this piece by Frank Rich is even more powerful.’

Tomorrow (or soon): Notes from a Former Cultist
(Yes, One of Our Readers Helped Lead a Cult!)


Comments are closed.