Drug Pricing Looked At as Oil Futures Drop
August 18, 2017
Democrats are looking into the cost of multiple sclerosis treatment pricing. Wisconsin announced that they would be giving Foxconn $3 billion in cash and tax incentives to create 13,000 jobs in the state. Consumer sentiment is up, although partisanly, and oil futures are down.
- Dems launch investigation into multiple sclerosis treatment pricing. Lawmakers have been highly critical of sharp increases in the prices of prescription drugs, and their critiques have had far-reaching impact. A congressional investigation of EpiPen pricing caused drug makers to bring down their prices dramatically. Democratic congressmen, led by Reps. Elijah Cummings and Peter Welch, launched an investigation into the cost of therapy for the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, the average cost of which has risen from 16,000 per year in 2004 to 78,000 per year last year. The investigation seeks to discover whether the 7 major producers of MS drugs are raising their prices simultaneously, evidence of possible collusion. [Reuters]
- Wisconsin Foxconn incentive bills amounts to $3 billion in cash incentives. The noted Apple supplier and high tech manufacturer Foxconn is considering new plant construction in Wisconsin, which could eventually employ as many as 13,000 people. The state legislature recently passed a $3 billion bill in tax breaks and cash incentives to encourage Foxconn to build their plant within the state. While the bill still needs to be approved by the Senate and the Joint Finance Committee, proponents are optimistic about its chances. Some legislators were concerned that taxpayers weren’t getting a good deal, and asked for more “guarantees” to be added into the bill. Analysis indicates Wisconsin will not break even on the bill for 25 years. [Reuters]
Economic Indicators & News
- Positive consumer sentiment beats estimates, shows partisan split. Consumer sentiment rose to 97.6 in August from 93.4 in July, beating estimates of 94. Consumer sentiment has been largely driven by increased confidence in one’s own financial future, resulting from a perception of increased job security and rising incomes. The survey indicates that these labor market factors, as opposed to low borrowing costs, is driving consumer sentiment. However, positivity about the economic future was split by political affiliation, with Democratic households significantly more likely to report economic woes ahead. [Bloomberg]
- Oil set for loss due to US output. Oil futures took a significant hit this week, as US crude production has expanded the most since June. While OPEC has made efforts, albeit spotty, to curtail crude production, in order to support higher prices, their efforts could be undermined by high US production. Crude futures are set for a 3.9% loss this week. Data from global crude production has painted an overall picture for investors that the glut in oil supply is not going away soon. [Bloomberg]