Your Evening Briefing
Say a patient forks over a co-pay of $10 at the pharmacy. The pharmacist gets reimbursed for the price of the drug, which might be $2, and possibly a small profit. Then the benefits manager “claws back” the remainder. Most patients never realize there’s a cheaper cash price.
Before your next trip to the pharmacy, read the full story, below. TL;DR -- you’re overpaying for drugs and your pharmacist can’t tell you. —Megan Hess
Trump is on the verge of his own bull market. The Dow’s consecutive gains since Nov. 9, including a 20 percent surge in futures, could be loosely framed as the president’s own bull market. The 120-year-old measure has set a record on 10 straight days — the longest streak since the Ronald Reagan administration. Two more would tie it for the longest ever.
President Trump attacked the FBI for leaks as his top aides defended talks with the agency. According to reports on Thursday, White House officials had asked the FBI to counteract media stories about links between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials. The FBI refused the request. This Trump tweet came less than 24 hours after those reports: “The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security ‘leakers’ that have permeated our government for a long time.”
You’re overpaying for drugs and your pharmacist can’t tell you. For many cheap, generic medicines, co-pays are sometimes more expensive than if patients hadn’t used insurance at all. The extra money — what the industry calls a clawback — ends up with the benefit companies. But gag clauses stop pharmacists from pointing out a cheaper way. Insurance companies are facing at least 16 lawsuits prompted by clawbacks.
The future of recreational marijuana is in limbo. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he expects the Justice Department to increase enforcement of laws prohibiting the recreational use of marijuana, a departure from the Obama administration’s less aggressive stance. The marijuana industry is not pleased with the reversal.
What’s the deal with La La Land? It’s no surprise the movie was a hit with critics and remains the heavy favorite to win the Academy Award for Best Picture on Sunday. More of a surprise is how widely the film has won favor. Its success, however, is no dreamy accident: It’s the product of a string of savvy, somewhat counter-intuitive decisions.
A prodigious Google engineer is now the company’s enemy number one. In 2013, Anthony Levandowski was the star of Google's self-driving car project. On Thursday, Waymo, the Alphabet company formed from the self-driving project, filed a blistering lawsuit accusing Levandowski of taking valuable intellectual property from Alphabet to his current employer, Uber.
How Donald Trump orders (and tips) at his favorite restaurant. Mar-A-Lago isn’t the only spot where a rogue onlooker might get to see Trump making major deals. The 21 Club, an 88-year-old destination for New York’s power brokers, is just five blocks away from Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan. Bloomberg Pursuits checked in on the food there, including the president’s standard order: a $36 burger, cooked well-done and topped with American cheese.