Center MD

Center MD

Maryland’s leading source of aggregated and original news and opinion on government, politics, business and more. Called one of the “nation’s best state-based political blogs” by the Washington Post.

Marty Rosendale: Trump Administration Takes a Positive Step to Lower Drug Costs, but More Action Needed from the Maryland Legislature

The rising costs of health care and patient out-of-pocket costs that jeopardize access to care for Maryland families have rightly been a major area of focus for policymakers at both the federal and state level. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a proposed rule that would help lower the cost of medications at the pharmacy counter and reduce patient out-of-pocket spending by reforming the drug rebate system. Under the current system, rebates are paid by drug manufacturers to little-known middlemen called pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Health insurers hire PBMs to administer prescription drug benefits, negotiate prices with manufacturers, and set rebates with pharmacies. While PBMs were originally meant to lower costs for consumers, because they operate in a black box with little transparency, it is impossible to know if these cost reductions ever make their way to patients, or simply enrich PBMs. The Administration’s proposed rule aims... Continue reading
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Dave Anderson: How to break the government shutdown impasse

The impasse in the dispute over the government shutdown and the border wall is an immensely complicated policy and political problem that pits two sides against each other who have diametrically opposed perspectives about the best path forward for the country. It is useful to distinguish the different issues involved, especially concerning the very concept of building a wall. There are basically three issues involved, which can be formulated in terms of questions: Will a wall be effective in keeping immigrants from entering our country illegally? Is the cost of building a wall worth it, whether that is $5 billion or $25 billion? Will building a wall help or hurt each political party in question? The first question is an empirical question. Empirical questions can be about the past, present or future. They basically are questions of fact. What in fact happened in the past? What in fact is the case... Continue reading
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Peter Auchincloss: The Wizard and The Werewolf - A Reminiscence From Damian O’Doherty

“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, how good it is, is what it matters.” —J.K. Rowling Peter Auchincloss rolled into my office 20 minutes early for a meeting, carrying several giant, black 3-ring binders. “Peter, the infrastructure team can’t handle another set of binders,” I said sardonically. “You are the only guy that reads, ranks, and prioritizes anymore. The rest of us just Facebook.” “These aren’t for the team, my boy. These binders are for you,” Peter retorted. He dressed timelessly in khaki chords, a blue-button down, and a blue blazer. The bow-tie was a special touch, for everyday. “Peter, I can’t even read summaries of summaries, let alone your binders.” “This is different. This is for the most important decision of your life,” Peter said, as he walked away to our 28th floor outside balcony overlooking the city that birthed and launched America’s most... Continue reading
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More than 800 Clinical Trials for New Medicines in Maryland Provide Potentially Life-Saving Treatments to Thousands of Marylanders

A new report touting the enormous impact of clinical trials performed by the biopharmaceutical industry in Maryland specifies that 856 clinical trials are currently underway in the state creating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and helping Marylanders across the state fight debilitating diseases. The report, “Research in Your Backyard:  Developing Cures, Creating Jobs,” talks about the 5910 clinical trials in Maryland since 2004 that have targeted diseases and conditions like asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.  In 2013 alone, more than 25,000 Marylanders participated in clinical trials in Maryland that had an economic impact on the state estimated at more than $527 million. And, in 2015, Maryland biopharmaceutical companies supported the generation of $27.5 billion in economic activity and 111,700 jobs throughout the state. "Clinical trials have been conducted in every corner of Maryland, not only in Baltimore and Bethesda, the home of NIH and Walter Reed National Military Medical... Continue reading
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Don Mohler reflects on Kevin Kamenetz, Gone Too Soon

There were two months to go until the election. On May 8, 2018, Kevin Kamenetz had just finished filming 14 hours of television commercials that we were all sure would propel him to the Democratic gubernatorial nomination on June 26. And then two days later on May 10, the phone rang shortly after 2 a.m. When the phone rings at that hour, it is never good news. This time was no different. On the other end of the line was the Deputy Fire Chief with words that I will never forget: “Don, the County Executive is in cardiac arrest. You should get to the hospital now.” Thirty minutes later my friend was gone. It is not possible to capture the soul and spirit of Kevin Kamenetz in a few hundred words, so with that in mind, I will settle for some glimpses into the life of a man who was at... Continue reading
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