To keep EpiPen sales up, Mylan threatened states, sued making bogus claims

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Alex Wong)

Note: EpiPens are sold in the UK by Meda Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Mylan in 2016. They can be acquired for just £45 a piece online in the UK. But the US and UK healthcare markets are quite different beasts…

Pharmaceutical company Mylan sued West Virginia in 2015 to keep its EpiPens on the state’s “preferred drug list,” which, if successful, would mean that the state’s Medicaid programs would have to automatically pay for the pricey epinephrine auto-injectors.

The bold and unusual move by Mylan—which ultimately failed—is yet another example of the aggressive marketing and legal tactics the company used to boost profits from EpiPens, which halt life-threatening allergic reactions. Since Mylan acquired rights to EpiPen in 2007,

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The Very Hungry Plastic-Eating Caterpillar

When she’s not working in her lab at Spain’s IBBTEC institute, Federica Bertocchini keeps bees. One day, when she looked at her hives, she found them infested with caterpillars called waxworms. These insects are the bane of beekeepers because they voraciously devour the wax that bees use to build their honeycombs. Bertocchini picked out the pests and put them in a plastic bag, while she cleaned out the hives. And when she returned to the bag, she found it full of holes.

The waxworms had eaten their way out.

Bertocchini doesn’t study insects, waxworms, or plastic—she focuses on the early development of animal embryos. But you can’t keep a good scientist away from an interesting question, and the perforated bags posed an obvious one: Were the … Read the rest

The Mystery of ‘Venus’s Hair’ After a Volcanic Eruption

In the summer of 2011, earthquake swarms started hitting the Canary Islands off the African coast. The ocean belched up sulfur, staining the water yellow and green. Fish died. Seawater bubbled over like a jacuzzi. Smoking lava balloons leapt from the roiling surface.

These violent events were all hallmarks of an erupting underwater volcano, which over 138 days blanketed the seafloor with newly formed volcanic rock.

By the time a group of Italian and Spanish scientists sailed to the Tagoro Volcano in 2014, things had quieted down—geologically, at least. Biologically, something extraordinary was happening. The once barren rock was now covered in a lush carpet of long, white hair, the size of eight tennis courts. “It was an impressive and surreal landscape, like discovering life on … Read the rest

UK has first coal-free power day since the Industrial Revolution

Enlarge / London’s coal-powered Battersea Power Station in 1937. Yes, originally it only had two chimneys but was extended after World War II. (credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images)

In 1882, the world’s first coal-fired public-use power station opened in London at 57 Holborn Viaduct—today a fairly nondescript location in the centre of London close to Blackfriars. On Friday, some 135 years, a few monarchs, and an entire Industrial Revolution later, the UK power grid had its first ever day without coal energy.

The National Grid control room announced on April 21 that from 11pm on Thursday to 11pm on Friday the UK’s electricity demand was supplied without firing up some coal power plants. The UK’s power mix for the day was: 50.3% natural gas, 21.2% nuclear, 12.2%

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