Lilly Doubles Down on R&D, Senator McCaskill Calls for HHS Investigation of $433m No-Bid Smallpox Drug Contract, School Vaccination Rates Slip as Parents Worry About Side Effects
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Lilly is facing a $13 billion dollar patent cliff in the next three years - but CEO John Lechleither explains to Xconomy that increasing R&D spending, rather than chasing mergers, will better help the company weather the storm in the long run.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D, MO) is calling for the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate the Obama's Administration's award of a $433 million dollar sole source contract to a company owned by billionaire Ronald Perelman, who also happens to be a "major democratic donor." The company, Siga Technologies, is set to make an antiviral drug for smallpox that cannot be tested or approved for use in humans, according to the FDA. For more on this, see my earlier commentary here and the L.A. Times, here.

Robert Samuelson looks at recent OECD data comparing health care costs and outcomes in the U.S. to other wealthy nations, and says the data paints a "devastating picture" of U.S. health care. For another view of the OECD data, at least on life-expectancy, see Avik Roy's excellent post here.

The A.P. reports a sobering picture of more parents "opting out" of having their children vaccinated for school. Health officials fear that the trend could lead to a resurgence of diseases that haven't been seen in the U.S. in decades, like polio.

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