SA ‘must keep investing in growth’

first_img21 October 2008 However, decreasing export demand, financial volatility, exchange rate fluctuations and uncertain economic conditions in the future would have an affect on South Africa’s economy. “The world is experiencing a financial crisis on a scale not seen since the 1930s,” the minister told Parliament. “The prospects for global growth are poor and the short-term outlook is clouded by uncertainty. Manuel noted that South African consumer inflation has been outside the Reserve Bank’s inflation target band for over 15 months. This high inflationary environment has forced the Bank to raise interest rates, which has also had an effect on economic growth. Delivering his Budget Speech in February, Manuel had predicted a budget surplus of about 0.6 percent, but this figure was likely to drop in the face of decreasing consumer demand for goods and the resultant decrease in Valued Added Tax (VAT) revenue for government. Economic growth in the seven richest countries, which make up half of world economic output, may well be zero or negative next year, he indicated. Overall global growth is expected to fall from 5% in 2007 to 3.9% this year and could even drop as low as 3% in 2009. The 2009 Budget, he said, would see further resources allocated to employment-intensive programmes in the public sector, as well as incentive programmes for private employers and non-governmental organisations to use more labour-intensive methods. Delivering his medium term budget policy statement – a three-year guideline to government spending – in Parliament, Manuel said projections for South Africa’s output growth in 2008 and 2009 had been revised downward to 3.7% and 3% respectively. Further pressuring GDP growth was the Eskom debacle, which cost the South African economy billions of rands in lost revenue after unscheduled blackouts in January and February significantly disrupted business, especially mining, operations in the country. The country’s GDP plunged to 2.1% in the first quarter following the power disruptions. “The proposed fiscal framework for the 2009 Budget takes into account both slower economic growth and the need to support continued infrastructure investment and social development in a context of heightened uncertainty,” the minister said. “However, South Africa’s longer-term economic expansion rests on sound economic policies, healthy public finances and resilient financial institutions.” “It is important to recognise the causes and consequences of South Africa’s aging physical infrastructure and poor skills base,” Manuel said. “Decades of underinvestment in physical infrastructure, from electricity generation to water supply, roads and rail have constrained the economy’s ability to grow more rapidly.”center_img “Depending on international developments, gross domestic product growth is expected to recover to above 4 percent in 2010 and beyond.” The healthy state of South Africa’s financial sector relative to that of the United States, Germany and Britain, among others, would help the country escape the worst effects of the global economic downturn, Manuel said. “The South Africa economy has grown by an average of 5 percent a year for the past six years. During this period, investment increased from about 15 percent of GDP to more than 22 percent. The unemployment rate declined from about 29.3 percent in 2003 to 23 percent today. For the creation of jobs, however, the South African economy needed to grow, as well as to refocus on developing more labour-intensive projects. Decades of apartheid education, and limited progress in improving the quality of post-1994 education, had reinforced skills shortages that likewise inhibited economic growth. While South Africa was hoping to maintain its five percent economic growth rate in 2008 and 2009, global economic conditions had forced the downward revision of expected growth, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said in Cape Town on Tuesday. “Nevertheless, employment is still unacceptably high, and a critical objective of an economic policy over the next five years is to create work opportunities,” Manuel said. In order to foster greater GDP growth, the government was committing funds to improve South Africa’s competitiveness globally. Source: BuaNews Navigating through such a changed economic environment would be a tough challenge, the minister said, but the government would continue to expand and improve public services, and invest in the infrastructure needed for growth.last_img read more

4-Star Point Guard Cassius Winston Commits To Michigan State

first_imgCassius Winston committing to Michigan State at a press conference.Cassius Winston Michigan State CommitMichigan State head coach Tom Izzo has done it again. Friday, the Spartans officially landed the services of four-star point guard Cassius Winston. Winston chose MSU over Stanford and Pittsburgh during a ceremony at his high school – Detroit Jesuit. Cassius Winston selects @msubasketball today! pic.twitter.com/yOKAYj5q8C— Athletics (@udjesuitsports) September 18, 2015Detroit Jesuit guard Cassius Winston just committed to Michigan State. Tom Izzo may be on the verge of his best recruiting class ever.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) September 18, 2015Winston, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 194 pounds on 247Sports, joins five-star guard Joshua Langford and four-star power forward Nick Ward in Michigan State’s 2016 class. If the Spartans are also able to land five-star small forward Miles Bridges, they may have the top recruiting class in the entire country.last_img read more

Nine Trades See Drop in November Schedule Reliability

first_imgzoom Nine of the 12 trades saw a decrease in schedule reliability from October 2017 to November 2017, intelligence provider CargoSmart informed.The North America-Oceania trade, which had the highest reliability in previous months, experienced the largest decrement in reliability, decreasing by 24.8% from 86.2% in October 2017 to 61.4% in November 2017.The Europe-Middle East trade experienced the largest improvement in reliability, increasing by 9.8%, from 63.3% in October 2017 to 73.1% in November 2017.The Europe-South America trade had the highest reliability with 83.8% in November 2017.Carriers’ overall on-time schedule reliability decreased by 0.6%, from 67.6% in October 2017 to 67% in November 2017. The top five most reliable carriers in November 2017 were CCNI, Safmarine, OOCL, Evergreen, and COSCO with an average on-time performance of 77.8%, 75.4%, 74.3%, 73.9%, and 73.5% respectively.last_img read more

Committee hears Glenn bill banning sex between prostitutes police

first_img23May Committee hears Glenn bill banning sex between prostitutes, police Categories: Glenn News,News State Rep. Gary Glenn, of Larkin Township, testified before the House Law and Justice Committee today in support of bipartisan legislation he introduced to make it illegal for law enforcement officials to engage in sexual acts with prostitutes or victims of human trafficking during the course of an investigation.“We’re seeking to close a legal loophole that has Michigan as the last state in the country where police officers having sex with prostitutes or victims of human trafficking is shielded from prosecution,” said Glenn. “There is no evidence that law enforcement officers are taking advantage of this unintended loophole, but this is a matter of principle that Michigan is going to protect victims of human trafficking from abuse.”House Bill 4355 specifically states a police officer is not protected from prosecution if the officer has sex with a prostitute or victim of human trafficking, eliminating an exemption which protected undercover officers investigating prostitution–related crimes. The legislation also seeks to protect victims of human trafficking who have been forced into prostitution.“We’re told there are people who impersonate police officers who use this unintended exemption from prosecution to intimidate women into having sex. That casts an unwarranted cloud over our law enforcement officers,” he said. “This legislation will protect our police and victims of human trafficking.”HB 4355 is under consideration of the committee.State Rep. Gary Glenn testifies before the House Law and Justice Committee today in support of legislation to ban sex between law enforcement officers and prostitutes or victims of human trafficking.last_img read more

Rep VanSingel Recommended grant will help preserve natural resources

first_img State Rep. Scott VanSingel today announced a grant has been recommended by the Natural Resources Trust Fund board to purchase property in Newaygo County that will be used for hunting, fishing and wildlife observation.VanSingel, of Grant, said the $213,800 land acquisition also will contribute to a plan to protect the habitat of the Karner blue butterfly, a federally endangered species that is found locally. Funding for the purchase is comprised of revenue from the lease of state land and is designated on an annual basis in partnership with local governments.“This is a significant acquisition of 354 acres in Newaygo County that will help connect the east and west units of the Muskegon State Game Area,” VanSingel said. “It is a perfect example of how state and local governments can work together to create recreational opportunities for Michigan families.”The property also has 1,430 feet of frontage on Maple Lake and contains 4,100 linear feet of a tributary of the Maple River.The Legislature will consider the recommendations in 2018.##### Categories: News,VanSingel News 20Dec Rep. VanSingel: Recommended grant will help preserve natural resourceslast_img read more

Joe Lewis head of half hour and drama series deve

first_imgJoe Lewis, head of half hour and drama series development at Amazon, is the latest executive to depart from the company after the resignation of Roy Price over sexual harassment claims.Lewis has resigned from the company but has given no reason for his departure, according to Reuters.He joins Morgan Wandell, Amazon’s head of international productions, in his departure from the company this week. Both executives worked under Price, who left the company earlier this month over reports of sexual harassment.TransparentSharon Tal Yguado, head of event series at the company, is now the most senior scripted executive on the team and will replace Lewis in the interim. She joined from Fox Networks Group, where she was executive VP of global scripted programming, in January.Tal Yguado will be working with interim Amazon Studios boss Albert Cheng, who is COO and took over after Price’s departure.Lewis was made head of comedy and drama last year. Before that he oversaw development of half-hour series including Amazon hit Transparent.Formerly, the exec has also worked with Comedy Central and 20th Century Fox.The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news, reports Lewis is in discussions with Amazon over a production deal.last_img read more

UKTV has shaken up its executive leadership team

first_imgUKTV has shaken up its executive leadership team, following the separation of BBC Studios’ and Discovery’s joint interest in the company, which sees BBC Studios take full ownership of UKTV. Marcus Arthur, president of BBC Studios UK & Ireland is UKTV’s new CEO, replacing Darren Childs who announced his departure earlier this year. Suzanne Burrows, Sam Tewungwa and Sarah Sparkes have joined in the roles of chief financial officer, chief commercial officer and senior counsel respectively. All three will be based at UKTV’s office in Hammersmith and they hold these positions in conjunction with their current roles at BBC Studios UK, which are finance director for the UK Region and global operations, commercial director UK, and director of business and legal affairs, UK. Finally, Simon Michaelides, who was UKTV’s chief commercial officer, is taking on the role of chief transformation officer in the new structure, and Simon Brown’s current role is expanding to include responsibility for strategy across UKTV and BBC Studios UK region. His new title is Director Strategy BBC Studios UK and Strategy, Insight & Regulatory Affairs UKTV. UKTV’s Leadership team also includes Zoe Clapp, chief marketing and communications officer, Sinead Greenaway, chief technology and operations officer, Claire Astley, HR director, Steve North, genre general manager for comedy and entertainment, Adrian Willis, genre general manager for Drama & Lifestyle and Richard Watsham, director of commissioning.last_img read more

Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 197 gpt Gold at

first_imgDrilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold MineralizationColumbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes.Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.”  Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained. Please visit our website for more information about the project. It was more than obvious [at least to me] that a heavy hand showed up in these markets at, or just before, the London p.m. gold fixGold didn’t do a lot on Tuesday, either.  The rally that developed in early Far East trading, ran into a seller just before 11:00 a.m. Hong Kong time…which was the same thing that happened during the Monday trading session.From there, the gold price didn’t do much until the 8:20 a.m. Eastern Comex open.  At that point the dollar index cratered…and gold took off…running into a not-for-profit seller at the London p.m. gold fix which came shortly after 10:00 a.m. in New York.  The high tick at the ‘fix’ was $1,739.10 spot.Despite the fact that the dollar continued to decline, the gold price continued to get sold down until around lunch time on the East coast…and from there traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.Gold finished the Tuesday session at $1,732.50 spot…up only $7.70 on the day.  Net volume was the same as Monday’s…115,000 contracts.It was basically the same story in silver as well, except for the fact that the rally at the Comex open was so strong, that a not-for-profit seller had to enter the market around 9:35 a.m. Eastern, or silver would have been materially higher [and well above $34 spot] by the London gold fix, which occurred thirty minutes later.  The high tick of the day at that point was $33.95 spot.And, like gold, despite the fact that the dollar index was declining steadily, silver continued to get sold off to its New York low…$33.30 spot…which came about 3:20 p.m. in electronic trading.  The price recovered a hair into the close.Silver finished the day at $33.48 spot…up a meager 14 cents from Monday.  Volume, 38,000 contracts, was down quite a bit from Monday’s 48,500 contracts…but still very high.Without doubt, both gold and silver would have finished materially higher if a willing seller hadn’t show up at, or just before, the London p.m. gold fix in both metals…and it was precisely the same story in platinum and palladium as well.The dollar index opened around the 80.40 mark on Monday evening…and chopped around that point until about 3:20 p.m. Hong Kong time, or about forty minutes before the 8:30 a.m. BST London open.  During the next hour, the index dropped a bit over 20 basis points…and then more or less traded sideways until 8:30 a.m. in New York.  Then the index headed south with a vengeance…and by 11:30 a.m. Eastern, the dollar index had shed another 40 odd basis points to its low of the day, which was around 79.82…and then recovered a handful of basis points going into the close.  The dollar closed down 50 points on the day at 79.89.If you check all four precious metal charts from yesterday, you’ll note that all had a very positive reactions to the pre-London open dollar index decline.  And that state of affairs continued in New York when the index did another face plant starting around 8:30 a.m. Eastern.  All the precious metals took off to the upside…and all ran into the same not-for-profit seller at the London p.m. gold fix…except for silver.As I said further up, its rally was so strong, it had to be dealt with early, or it would have blasted through the $34 spot price like a hot knife through soft butter…and that was obviously not going to be allowed…just like it wasn’t allowed in early morning trading in Hong Kong on Monday.  Check the silver chart above for the details.From the London p.m. gold fix, until the dollar index nadir at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, the dollar index and the precious metals prices all declined together.  That’s just too cute for words.There are no market anymore…only interventions.Although the gold price hit its zenith shortly after 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, the shares powered a bit higher, hitting their high of the day around 11:30 a.m. Eastern…which was the dollar index low.  After that they went into decline but, like Monday, finished just off their lows…and the HUI closed up 0.55%.  Excuse me for thinking out loud at this point, but the saw-tooth pattern to this chart tells me that someone with a fairly large position appeared to be selling into this rally.The silver stocks finished mixed…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.67%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report was rather interesting.  There was no delivery activity in gold, but there were 270 silver contracts posted for delivery within the Comex-approved warehouse system on Thursday.  The only short/issuer was Jefferies…and the biggest long/stopper was, once again, JPMorgan…with 202 contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account…and 23 for their client accounts.  The Issuers and Stoppers Report is worth a quick look…and the link is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday.Nick Laird advised me that Sprott added another 40,535 troy ounces of gold to their Physical Gold Trust on Monday.  That should just about cover the entire amount received in their follow-on offering…but I expect there’s a bit more when the underwriters exercise their ‘Greenshoe Option’.Over at the U.S Mint, they reported selling another 50,000 silver eagles…and I do hope that you’re getting your share, dear reader.The action at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday is hardly worth mentioning, as only a few thousand ounces of silver were received…and shipped out.I don’t have very many stories today…and that suits me just fine.  I hope you have the time to skim them all.Despite the positive closes in all four precious metals, it was more than obvious [at least to me] that a heavy hand showed up in these markets at, or just before, the London p.m. gold fix at 3:00 p.m. BST…10:00 a.m. in New York.  With the dollar index in free-fall, the precious metals were not allowed to do what they wanted to do…and that is close the day materially higher than they did on Monday.You’re perfectly entitled to your own opinion on this, but that’s the way it appeared to me…and if you have some other explanation for yesterday’s 180 degree move in the precious metals while the dollar index was falling out of bed, I’d love to hear it.Yesterday, at the 1:30 p.m. Eastern time Comex close, was the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report…and as I’ve been stating all along, it will not make for happy reading…especially with the huge volumes [and price increases] we’ve seen in both gold and silver since last Tuesday’s cut-off on September 4th.  JPMorgan et al are still acting as short sellers of last resort and preventing the precious metal prices from blowing sky high.  I’ll be curious to know how much larger JPMorgan’s short position in silver has become since last Friday’s report.  Ted Butler says it’s north of 27% of the entire Comex futures market in silver on a net basis.  Will it break 30% on Friday?I’m still of the opinion that we’ve seen a short-term top, but would love to be proven wrong.  A quick engineered sell-off by “da boyz” to relieve the current overbought condition wouldn’t bother me in the slightest…and would be a buying opportunity that I would take full advantage of.  Of course if/when the sell-off does come, it will allow these short sellers of last resort to harvest all the new long positions that have been placed and ring cash register one more time.In Far East trading on their Wednesday, both gold and silver prices chopped slowly higher.  For a change, volumes in both metals are significantly lower than they were on either Monday or Tuesday, so I wouldn’t read a whole heck of a lot into the price action.  The dollar index is down about 11 basis points as London opens for trading at 8:00 a.m. local time…3:00 a.m. Eastern.London trading opened quietly, but that all changed around 9:15 a.m. BST, when gold and silver blasted higher in seconds, not minutes.  Gold was up fifteen bucks…and silver shot through $34 spot at warp speed.  The reaction from JPMorgan et al was instantaneous.  Gold volume jumped from 13,000 contracts to 34,000 contracts in a heart beat…and silver’s volume went from around 4,800 contracts to 9,500 contracts in the same period of time…seconds.  Then, after that assault, it appears that another rally is underway…and silver is now back at $34.00 spot once again…and gold is struggling higher.  No ‘for profit’ seller ever sells into a rally like that…EVER!!!  This is in-your-face price management by the bullion banks…and the farthest thing from a free market that one can imagine.  It was obvious that ‘da boyz’ were lying in wait for this event.Here’s what Kitco’s silver chart looked like at 5:14 a.m. Eastern time…I would guess that this price action was centered around the announcement from the German court…and we’ll probably find out more as the day goes along.Before I sign off today, most of you may already have heard that we have a new writer at Casey Research…and his name is Dennis Miller.  He’s been a regular reader of my column for many years…and now, like me, he’s working for Doug.  Dennis is retired…and has been working tirelessly to rebuild his nest egg since the crash of 2008, when his CDs were recalled and it was cut by 50%.  He’s documented his journey in his book Retirement Reboot…and he thinks highly enough of what I’ve had to say over the years, to mention my name in a couple of places in it.  The book is priced at a pittance…a mere $9.95…and you can find all about it here.  It costs nothing to check it out.It could be an interesting day during Comex trading in New York today.See you tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisementlast_img read more

When humorist and writer Mara Altman was 19 and at

first_imgWhen humorist and writer Mara Altman was 19 and attending college at UCLA, she learned something about herself which, she says, felt devastating at the time.It happened while she was flirting with a server at a Mexican restaurant one evening. His name was Gustavo and he said five simple words: “I like your blonde mustache.”Now, she knew about this blonde mustache. But she had been bleaching it for years in the hopes that no one else would notice it.Altman’s latest book, Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (And Back), is a personal, darkly witty investigation into the human body — how we think about it and how it works. In a mix of personal anecdotes, science and cultural reporting and interviews, Altman explores pressing questions like, is PMS real? How come some people sweat so much? And who decided women shouldn’t have body hair, anyway?In an interview with NPR’s Ailsa Chang, Altman says she began the book with her fuzzy lip story because she wanted to reframe the shame she and the rest of us often feel about our physical selves — and lighten the taboo. She decided to face the facts — starting with a confession to her now-husband, Dave, that she does everything she can to rid herself of facial hair.”I needed him to know that he was marrying a woman with a goatee,” she says with a laugh. “I just didn’t want (1) to have him find out later and be upset, and (2) to just have to hide it anymore. I was just so tired.”Her husband’s response when Altman told him? “It’s just hair!” She says he couldn’t have cared less.INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS On where the idea that women should be mostly hairless comes from[Women in] the United States in the early 1900s — they were fine being hairy. But then … advertisers came on strong in the 1930s. They said that having armpit hair was dirty and gross; being clean-shaven was respectable, feminine. And then you also look at another kind of theory that we are all so afraid of our mortality; that we cover up anything that kind of hints at us being beasts, or animals. We put on perfumes, we cover up our holes — anything that excretes or is moist we don’t want anything to do with.On what it was like to grow up in a family that encouraged ‘going natural’I still had the experiences at school where I didn’t feel like I totally fit in. I was trying so hard to be natural, to be authentic like my parents said. But you still have the friends on the schoolyard who are like, ‘Ah, she’s hairy — gross!’ … I was in junior high and I was in PE class just getting ready to play dodgeball or something. And a girl pointed at my legs and said, ‘Ew, gross, you’re hairy!’ And I just felt totally seen and ashamed and wanted nothing more than to rip out every single hair on my body. And yet that went against everything in our household about being natural. And then I had to confront my mom about it, and finally ask her if I could shave.On what a psychology professor said when she asked whether premenstrual syndrome is real She said that when we say that PMS made us do something, that we’re using it as a scapegoat — and kind of discount it. And she also said that hormones don’t create moods, but they can exacerbate moods. [Those feelings are] very legitimate; we should pay attention to them. Every time we say that PMS made us do it a misogynist gets his wings! It feeds into this idea that we’re angry; that we don’t know what we’re doing. But really — like a woman who just feels really strong feelings and in another society would be extremely respected.On how she found out sweat is awesome The sweat researcher that I talked to said that if we were overheating and we couldn’t sweat, we’d basically die in, like, 20 to 30 minutes. So when I see my own sweat stains now on my pits, which is probably daily, I try to appreciate that that’s where we come from. That’s how we’re human. And I think that researching or learning about our bodies can also lessen the shame around it.On being at a nudist resort while pregnant with twins — for research You know, I wrote this book to kind of investigate why we feel the way we feel about our bodies. But a wonderful bonus was kind of realizing that we all have such a big variation. … I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! All these people. So many various sizes [and] shapes don’t fit into any of the beauty standards we typically talk about or see. There are rolls! There’s cottage cheese! There are hairy moles!’ … And they’re walking around indulging in life. And you’re like, OK, you know what? We’re just lucky we have bodies. That we get to do all this cool stuff in our bodies.Alyssa Edes and Renita Jablonksi produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Alyssa Edes adapted it for the Web. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

As nearly 75 million Americans contend with cover

first_imgAs nearly 7.5 million Americans contend with covering the skyrocketing costs of insulin to manage the disease, diabetics in Colorado will soon have some relief. A new law, signed by Gov. Jared Polis earlier this week, caps co-payments of the lifesaving medication at $100 a month for insured patients, regardless of the supply they require. Insurance companies will have to absorb the balance. The law also directs the state’s attorney general to launch an investigation into how prescription insulin prices are set throughout the state and make recommendations to the legislature. Colorado is the first state to enact such sweeping legislation aiming to shield patients from dramatic insulin price increases. “One in four type 1 diabetics have reported insulin underuse due to the high cost of insulin … [t]herefore, it is important to enact policies to reduce the costs for Coloradans with diabetes to obtain life-saving and life-sustaining insulin,” the law states. The price of the drug in the U.S. has increased exponentially in recent years. Between 2002 and 2013, it tripled, according to 2016 study published in the medical journal JAMA. It found the price of a milliliter of insulin rose from $4.34 in 2002 to $12.92 in 2013. And a March report from the House of Representatives, found “prices continued to climb, nearly doubling between 2012 and 2016.” Dramatic price hikes have left some people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who use insulin to control their blood sugar levels in the unfortunate position of making dangerous compromises. They either forego the medication or they ration their prescribed dose to stretch it until they can afford the next prescription. In some instances, those compromises can lead to tragedy. As NPR reported, an uninsured Minnesota man who couldn’t afford to pay for $1,300 worth of diabetes supplies, died of diabetic ketoacidosis, according to his mother. The man, who was 26, had been rationing his insulin. The move in Colorado comes on the heels of recent commitments by manufacturers to limit the drug’s cost to consumers, which in turn comes on the heels of mounting pressure (and some skewering) from elected officials. Following a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing in February and a subcommittee hearing in the House in April, pharmaceutical company leaders have reluctantly admitted they have a role to play in reducing drug prices. Last month Express Scripts, one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers in the country, announced it is launching a “patient assurance program” that will place a $25 per month cap on insulin for patients “no matter what.” In March, insulin manufacturer Eli Lilly said it will soon offer a generic version of Humalog, called Insulin Lispro, at half the cost. That would drop the price of a single vial to $137.35. “These efforts are not enough,” Inmaculada Hernandez of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy tells NPR, of the latest legislation in Colorado. Hernandez was lead author of a January report in Health Affairs attributing the rising cost of prescription drugs to accumulated yearly price hikes.While the Colorado out-of-pocket caps will likely provide financial relief for diabetes patients, she noted “the costs will kick back to all of the insured population” whose premiums are likely to go up as a result.”Nothing is free,” Hernandez said.”It also doesn’t fix the real issue,” she added, pointing to her own research which found “that prices have increased because there’s not enough competition in the market, demand will always be high and manufacturers leverage that to their advantage.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more