drugs money

Every month when I go to the pharmacy to pick up another 30-day supply of Neupro patches for my Restless Leg Syndrome, I marvel at the part on the receipt that reads, “Your insurance saved you $538.57”. 

I get angry when I see that my daughter’s insurance, through Florida’s Healthy Kids program, pays almost $500 for a tube of acne medication. I keep getting it because it works for her, but the pit in my stomach grows each time I fill that prescription because I know the state of Florida is on the hook for that and millions of other similar claims! 

The insanity of the fact that the United States pays the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world now has a name and a face. Meet Martin Shkreli, founder and CEO of Turing Pharmaceutical.

Martin Shkreli (Credit: Bloomberg Business)

Shkreli’s company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, three weeks ago purchased the rights to a somewhat obscure drug called Daraprim that’s been on the market for 62 years. It’s used to treat toxolasmosis, an illness caused by a parasite, that can severely impact patients with compromised immune systems. 

Almost immediately, Turing raised the price for Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750 each! And that smarmy, skanky looking sleazeball explained that his company needs to turn a profit! 


 That Bloomberg TV interview came after he got called the editor-in-chief of Fierce Biotech a “moron” via Twitter when John Carroll dared to be the first one to ask him why he raised the price by 5000%.

And, it went downhill from there…

There’s more like that here.

This morning, the guy Shkreli called a “moron” and “bad journalist,” John Carroll joined me on the show. In fact, he was with me right at the top of the program as he was quite in demand for interviews today.

As for how our elected representatives are dealing with this, Hillary Clinton tweeted

Before most of us had ever heard the unfortunate name Martin Shkreli, Bernie Sanders had already become the first presidential candidate to propose a plan to bring down prescription drug prices. 

And with this sickening news about something that’s supposed to have the opposite effect, a headline in the NY Times yesterday read, “Prescription Drug Costs Are Rising as a Campaign Issue.” Good. It’s about time. 

Also on the show today…

A follow-up to yesterday’s discussion about the new Correct the Record super PAC run by Media Matters’ founder David Brock to support Hillary Clinton, and the news that they had sent an email going negative on Bernie Sanders to some members of the media. What follows is the email discussion I had with the Correct the Record Press Secretary, Daniel Wessel.

I wrote to him yesterday afternoon:

Hi Daniel,

Laura Keiter passed along your contact information. I’m hoping to get someone from Correct the Record to come on my show tomorrow morning at around 10:30 ET.

Can you help?


To which he replied:

From: Daniel Wessel 

Date:09/21/2015 7:53 PM 

To: Nicole Sandler 

Subject: Re: Interview?

I can! Thanks for reaching out. 
Our communications director, Adrienne Watson would be able to join you tomorrow. 

If you could give me any more details you have on calling in, what you plan on asking, etc, that’s be helpful. 


Frankly, I was surprised he hadn’t asked sooner. I answered

I want to ask about the email that went it about Bernie Sanders and, more broadly, how Correct the Record operates.

I’d just need the best number at which to reach Adrienne tomorrow morning. I’ll call her. When she picks up, she’ll hear me introduce her, and we’ll be live on the air.

And just moments later, received this from Correct the Record’s Press Secretary, Daniel Wessel

I’m so sorry, but we’re going to actually have to pass on this one. Thanks for reaching out and feel free to contact me directly with any future requests. 

I’m not surprised. This is going to be a looong 14 months! 

The growing discontent on the left with Debbie Wasserman Schultz who, as chair of the DNC, decided that there will be only six Democratic presidential debates during the 2016 election cycle. Greg Sargent offered a good explanation of the how the impasse came to be.

Today also brought a gathering of the Gliberal Goddesses — GottaLaff, Amy Simon and I get together every couple of weeks to shoot the shit the way that real women do, no holds barred. Today we discussed everything from the Emmys to Scott Walker ending his presidential bid, and even read a scene from Amy Simon’s show, She’s History! The Most Dangerous Women in America, Then and Now

Amy has a performance coming up on Sunday, October 18 at the Lounge Theater in Hollywood, CA. Buy tickets here, or email Amy if you need a discounted ticket price. 

Tomorrow… we’ll talk Weed and Hillary Clinton, though not at the same time, radio or not!