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tv   Nightly Business Report  PBS  August 25, 2016 7:00pm-7:31pm PDT

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that could one day hack your phone. those stories and more tonight on "nightly business report" for thursday, august 25th. good evening, and welcome. the ceo at the center of a firestorm responds to the heat.
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heather bresch, the $18 million a year of mylan of epi-pen tried to shift the blame on the life-saving medication to insurers and drug benefit managers today. in an interview with cnbc, she also vowed to help reduce the cost of the emergency allergy drug for some people. as we've been reporting, the drug's retail price has risen more than 500% over the past decade, and that has causes a fierce reaction from customers on main street, lawmakers in washington and investors on wall street. today brian sullivan asked mylan's ceo the questions many want asking. >> facing backlash from the government, the public and stock market, mylan ceo heather bresch defended the recent price increase over epi-pen and announced the way to lower the price for many americans. she spoke exclusively to cnbc on thursday and tried to answer the question of why they can't just roll prices back down after the
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hike, but what they are doing to reduce costs in other ways >> had we reduced the list price, i couldn't ensure that everyone who needs an epi-pen gets one so we went around the system. that's what we announced today this. savings card is equivalent to catch. $300 so effectively we're cutting the price in half. >> reporter: many will argue this is not enough as the price hike may still leave many paying more out of , especially those with no insurance or those are high co-pays or deductibles. the price of the epi-pen needed to treat people with violent allergic reactions has risen from about $100 seven years to more than $500 or $600 today. bresch says while her company has faced the brent of the blame the entire drug distribution system is at fault and needs to be changed. >> congress and the leaders of this country need to quit putting their toe in this topic and really fix -- we have an outdated and inefficient system.
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you know what's happening in the patient is paying twice. they are paying full retail price at the counter, and they are paying higher premiums on their insurance. it was never intended this a consumer, that the patient would be paying list price, never. e system wasn't built for that. >> reporte h sarturd that e are simply too many different players between the drug-maker and the consumer with each taking a big cut. she told cnbc she wants to change that and is working on a way to sell more directly to the consumer, but before mylan can do anything, it still faces political heat. there's a bipartisan group of senators along with hillary clinton have exprussed outrage with some calling inn into this and other drug price increases. over the past ten years, the average price of nearly every prescription drug in america has risen by an average of 40%, far more than the rate of inflation. for "nightly business report," m brian sullivan. one of myl ha n's biggest critics is senator chuck grassley. he says that the epi-pen savings
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card is not enough. the chairman of the senate judiciary committee continu to press the drug company for answers about the price hikes. he also said he may look into the so-called middle man in the health care system, specifically pharmacy benefit managers. they negotiate drug prices on behalf of players like insurers. >> we need to look at more pbms. i'm not saying i'm having any hearing at all. i'll wait until i get the answer from mylan. at that point if that answer isn't legitimate and the prices don't go down, we'll talk about having a hearing. >> the focus on the middle man is pressuring shares of pharmacy benefit managers like express scripts and cvs heal is it the incentivized higher drug prescription prices as the mylan ceo says, and what role do they play in the health care system? meg tirrell is here with that part of the story. meg, let's start by explaining what these middle men are. how did they come to be, and why
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do they occupy such an important spot in the chain of distribution? wha come out today is just the murkiness, kind of the supply chain in the drug industry and pharmacy benefits managers play a role in this so essentially what their role is to negotiate drug prize on behalf of insurers and employers, so they get a lot of covered patients so express scripts being the biggest one has 80 million covered lives on its biggest plan and then they use that leverage to go to drug companies and say, okay, give us a bigger discount on this drug and we'll give you a better placement on a formulary. so maybe a co-pay for patients and when there's multiple drugs in the marketplace they can pit those glenns each other to get bigger discounts. >> she said middle men are a part of the problem and you talked to express scripts. what did they have to say? >> we spoke to dr. steve miller, the chief executive officer, who said they would contribute to price increases and issued a
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challenge mylan. listen to this. >> we would love to see lower drug prices. we pass the savings that we take from the marketplace back to our plans and so i challenge her. she can lower the price today and we'll make sure that our patients get lower co-pays and our plans play lower prices. >> furthermore, the pharmacy benefits manager trade group out t calling the co-pay assistants that mylan called for a bait-and-switch strategy that doesn't end up lowering the price of drugs after all and there's a reason why it's illegal to provide that kind of patience assistance to patients covered by government insurance. >> doe the mylan ceo have a point when she says we charge this price, but then the pharmacy benefit manager will pay this much. they want a markup and a margin, right? the pharmacy wants a markup and a margin and so when you get to the end user, the customer, they are going to pay "x" plus.
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>> reporter: certainly she has a point that a lot of the middle men take money from the system. >> they want to make a profit too. >> that's right. ths a point that the drug industry has been trying to push for a long time, and that hasn't really gained any traction. i think because it's so murky. it's hard to understand what happens to our drugs when we go to the pharmacy and when we pay for the drug, so she does have a point in that there is a lot going on in the middle there, and a lot of people in the drug industry agree with her that that contributes to rising prices. >> why isn't there more competition or generic alternatives for drugs like epi-pens? joining us to talk about that is peter pitts, former fda associate commissioner and currently presid for medicine i center interest. peter, welcome and thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> you know, the epi-pen situation certainly has grabbed all the headlines, and rightly so given the fact that there really is no alternative right now anyway to the epi-pen, but is the process for bringing a
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generic or a bioidentical as they are sometimes called to e as bringing an original drug, an innovative drug? >> it's very drug. when an innovator drug for cancer or something like multiple sclerosis it takes many years and hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars. when you bring a generic drug to market, it's a much more truncated process by stat you'd. a law allows the fda to bring the generic drugs to markets would you human trials, through bioequivalen trials and the fda can really be the hero here. it can help to bring competition into the marketplace by prioritizing the generic drug reviews in front of it for those drugs that don't already have a generic drug in competition. imagine if there were o or more competitors to mylan's epi-pen. we'd be in a much different situation so the fda can by rerating the resources and prioritizing the file in front of it, it can be a hero to this
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type of process by bringing more generic drugs to market, greater access and higher quality. >> competi of t solution here. there are critics, peter, who would say, number tha fda moves too slowly in giving signoffs on generic competition. would i like to have you address, that and, second, that the owners of the branded or innovator drugs, this epi-pen was hardly an innovator drug by the time myl ha n it, by the way. they acquired it from the german subsidiary, german merck. there are those who would say the owners of the branded drugs do not make it easy for the generics to get in. comment on that as well. in fact, they don't want them in. >> there are two issues and let me address them both. first, let's talk about the fda and their role in expediting these types of products to the market. during the whole martin shkreli fiasco it came to light that in fact it was not a generic drug but a drug with no generic competition and because of a lot of pressure from a lot of good people the fda said it's going
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to rearrange its resources to make sure that trucks that don't have a generic competition, that those files will be prioritized, and that the review times will be moved down from two to three years to six months, so they said that in march before the mylan thing came to our attention. whether or not t has really hit the bureaucratic process yet, you know, i'm not sure. it takes time, but fda does -- does have the promise of more staff. they have got to get them up to speed, but they understand their role here in making things happen faster without jeopardizing any safety or quality. >> maybe there is some hope there. i want to get your quick thought on the other thing that the owners of the branded drugs oppose the generics and then meg tirrell has graciously stayed and wants to ask you a question. >> sure. relative to competition from the innovator industry, i don't think that innovator drug companies, many of whom by the way are also in the generic drug business believe that generic drugs are bad. they understand they play an extremely potent role in our health care system. over 85% by volume of all the
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drugs in this country are generic drugs, so, you know, there's no getting away from that. i don't believe anybody wants to squash competition and that's what drives the free market system. >> to tyler's point though. you do see the citizen petitions filed by mylan and trying to fight teva's epi-pen or teva trying to fight its challenges to its multiple sclerosis drug and that clearly does happen trying to keep the competition off the market. going back to the fda why does it take a situation like this, gathering so much media attention, toll try to inspire them to act? you know, i get notifications of dozens of drugs that are in shortage, important chemotherapy drugs. the fda knows it has a lot of shortages going on.t it act fas provide more competition? >> and drug competition is why the fda is moving the bring the first-to-mart generics to market quicker. you don't want cancer and hiv drugs to be in short supply. there's only one manufacturer. that was kind of one of the electrical shocks that got the fda off of its behind to get things done.
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i think when it comes to things like citizens petitions and other i.p.-related lawsuits, these are there for a purpose. longtime citizens bring a lot in front of the fda. when an effort is brought forth to stall rather than to address important scientific issues and that's a relevant conversation to have. >> we'll have you back to have that conversation. >> looking forward to it. >> peter pitts, former fda pharmaceutical commissioner and meg tirrell. stocks fell on wall street for the second straight day, the market trading in a narrow range ahead of janet yellen's big fed speech. the dow industrials off 18 and the nasdaq down 5 and the s&p was off nearly three. a red-letter day. the economy is the focus of that annual meeting of central bankers taking place in the mountains of wyoming. ahead of fed chair janet yellen's speech tomorrow, the federal reserve is coming under increased scrutiny for its recent policy decisions. steve liesman reports from
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>> reporter: for the past several years the fed has gathered for its annual meeting in jackson hole, the grand tetons have served as a majestic background fcrisis, the great financial crisis, fiscal cliff and the feefrts break-up of the european union to name a few and as markets away janet yellen's speech friday, the debate is more about fighting crisis and more about removing accommodation. fed speak for raising interest rates. >> labor slack is coming out of the labor market. we're making from us straightly slow progress but some progress on inflation, and i think that gdp growth in the second half of the year will be stronger because the consumer is strong, and even the second-quarter gdp number which was disappointing, was disappointing because of an inventory adjustment and final demand was in fact strong so, yeah, i think the case is strengthening. i'm not going to speculate on which meeting. >> there's still plenty of reason for worry. u.s. and global growth has been
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sluggish and inflation remains below the fed's 2% target and the fallout from brexit though initially lesser than predicted remains a cause for global concern as do prospects for weaker chinese growth. some fed officials say the u.s. economy is strong enough to withstand higher rates. >> i do think it is time to move that rate. that doesn't mean i favor high rates. it doesn't mean i think that needs to happen rapidly. i agree that a gradual move in these rates, but under conditions where we're seeing employment move in the direction it is, where we're seeing low and stable inflation, i think it's fair to say we could remove some of that accommodation. >> the risk remains too low for too long and asset bubbles that could pop. the meeting will center on the fed's framework for deciding on interest rates, a point frustration and bitter criticism among some. one former fed commissioner called fed policy erattics and quid the bank's credibility and
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said the fed is poorly positions to battle the next recession which is closer than the fed believes. despite the serene setting and relative calm in markets the tetons will frame a jackson hole symposium rife with controversy though perhaps this year not crisis. for "nightly business report, i'm steve liesman in jackson hole. still ahead, donald trump is not spending nearly as much as hillary clinton on tv ads, and the broadcast industry is taking notice. ride hailing service uber reportedly lost $1 billion in the first half of the year as first reported by bloomberg. uber's losses mounted in the second quarter, including the u.s. where it had turned a profit during the first three
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months of 2016. >> sears borrows $300 million from its chief executive edward lampert and that's where we begin tonight's market focus. the retailer is accepting the funds from the ceo's hedge fund and follows another quality earl loss and declining sales. the company cited weak demand for home appliances and lower sales in its kmart-brand stores. sears has posted annual losses in each of its past six fiscal years. shares today down 4% at $14.07. and dollar general reported its weakest sales in a deck you had a. lower food prices, growing competition and a drop in food stamp coverage hurt the discount retailer's results. shares of dollar general plunged 17% to 75.48. and it wasn't much better for rival dollar tree. the biggest u.s. discount chain reported lower than expected quarterly sales and cited a challenging retail environment. it also trimmed its sales outlook. shares fell nearly 10% to 85.50.
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ing. >> cignet jewellers report an unexpected drop in same-store sales and the owner of jared's and zale's saw profit fall krooigt impacts from lower commodity prize and consumer uncertainty surrounding the upcoming presidential election and they trimmed the profit forecast for the year. shares fell 12 pass to 83.44. lower marketing costs and higher spending by customers in britain helped tiffany post better than expected earnings. revenue with the luxury jeweller didn't fare as well though. sales for the seventh consecutive quarter coming in below estimates. shares finished the day though up 6% to 73.28. and medtr ho nic posted higher than expected profits thanks to higher costs and tax payments. revenues of the device-maker did fall as weaker demand for the company's heart devices hurt results. the company also reiterated its sales guidance for the year. edtroni
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1.5% to 85.39. republican presidential nominee donald trump has appeared on broadcast and cable television programs often to put it lightly during this campaign season. that means he doesn't have to spend as much, he thinks, on advertisements, and the media business is taking notice. julia boorstin has the story. >> change that makes america safe again. >> reporte a potentially troubling stat for broadcasters. donald trump has spent just over $4 million on tv ads in the general election race to date with his supporting pacs spending another $14 million. >> we would consider it unprecedented given that there's been a significant amount of time now since the convention that there's been no activity by mr. trump until the last week where he put up a four-state buy for about $5 million. that is, to our knowledge, the only television time that he's booked. >> repor a steep decline from 2012 when mitt romney and supporting pacs spent $38 million by june and president
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obama and romney's campaigns each spent more than $400 million by election day. >> they can be proud of us. >> reporter: so far democratic nominee hillary clinton is far outpacing trump but has a ways to go to catch up with the last presidential cycle. her campaign and support will groups have spent $114 million. and now media companies will look for those ad dollars to come from other political races. "tribune" ceo says only a third of the company's political advertising this year will come from the presidential race. the rest coming from tight rations for house, senate and governors' seats. >> there is a lot of senate activity out there in the marketplace right now. there are certainly a number of seats that are very hotly contested, and the spending there has been very healthy. does that help to make up for the lack of spending in the presidential race? maybe. i think that's yet to be determined.
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>> and cbs has said ads around down ticket races will be particularly robust. it and other media giants, nbc universal, time warner and disney have all said they are cashing in on political ads in their recent earnings reports. its sma smaller local players t are suffering, scripts blaming second-quarters earnings on a political shortfall saying political ads will come in below its projections this year. all of these players though benefitting from what has been a crazy political season driving rate thogs political news coverage. in total political ad spending is up this year from 2012 thanks to the contentious primaries. for "nightly business report, m julia boorstin in los angeles. coming up, secret voices. could the simple act of watching a video on your computer end up hacking your smart
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here's a look at what the to watch tomorrow. as we reported fed chair janet yellen will speak at the annual symposium in jackson hole and another read on economic growth with second-quarter gdp figures and the consumer sentiment report will tell us if consumers are feeling more on the mifltic this month and that's what to watch friday. could watching a video hack your smartphone? it may seem far-fetched, but a team of researchers came up with a secret command that would actually hijack your device. andrea day sat down with the man behind it, and you may want to listen closely to what he has to say. >> reporter: a muffled voice coming out of your computer's speakers? you might not be able to make it out, but that sound could hack your smartphone. >> anything that you can ask your phone to do, these commands
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can ask your phone to do. >> reporter: it's called hidden voice command, the technique created by a team of researchers from the university of california-berkeley and georgetown university headed up by associate professor micah shore. >> we wanted ed t look at is i possible to issue commands by commute computers but not for a human being. >> reporter: the team worked for months transforming words. >> to create audios that sounds like darth vader. >> reporter: j. >> the speech recognition system heard the command open facebook, and that's what it did. also they can cause your phone to open a website and a ma lishts website with some malicious software on there that runs on your phone, takes over your phone. >> reporter: he says the technique works by tapping into voice recognition systems that are always listening for commands. the team's demo used google now, but shore says it could also work with systems like apple siri and amazon echo.
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>> so even if you have a lot of security on your phone, a fire wall or traditional security systems, if you're not also protecting your voice interfaces you could be vulnerable. >> reporte the audio could be hidden inside a video that you might watch on youtube. >> some popular youtube video with a strange noise in the background that had a human being would just dismiss as an oddity but at the same time that noise could be controlling cell phone that happens to be located next to a compute sneer we reached out to amazon, google and apple. amazon tells us we take privacy and security very seriously. i wouldn't speculate on hypothetical situations, and google? we offer users the option to train their android device to respond only when it recognizes their voice. since siri wasn't part of the team's research demo apple declined comment. >> a lot of things have to be going right to succeed, but whenever there's a speak there's an opportunity to launch one of the hidden voice commands. >> r and researchers say as far as they know hearings haven't used the technique yet,
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but the team wanted to prove that it could work to help try and prevent it. his best advice is to keep your voice software off when it's not in use or do voice authentication where you can teach it to only respond to your voice. i'm andrea day for "nig >> creepy. >> creepy. i'm going to go home and train my phone. >> go train your phone. i'll do the same. that does it for "nightly business rep for tonight. i'm sue herera. thanks for joining us. we want to remind you this is the time of year your public television station seeks your support. >> i'm tyler mathisen. thanks for watching and thank you for your support. have a great evening, everybody. we'll se
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for several centuries, scotland was ruled from london. parliament hadn't met here since 1707. recently, the scots voted to bring their parliament home, and london didn't object. in the year 2000, edinburgh resumed its position as home of scotland's parliament. scotland's strikingly modern parliament building opened in 2004. the catalan architect enric miralles mixed bold windows, wild angles, and organic themes into a startling complex that would, as he envisioned, "surge from out of the rock and into the city."
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