A permanent federal R & D tax credit? (Morning Read)

Among today’s current medical news: federal lawmakers move for a permanent R & D tax credit, confusion over healthcare reform despite an appeal and stay; a looming nurses’ strike in Boston; more news on disclosures in research; and a “geyser of idiocy” when it comes to pharmaceutical industry critiques.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about the healthcare industry:

R & D tax credits forever? The drive to make the current federal R & D tax credit permanent is fueled by this statistic: the United States is ranked 24th out of 38 developed nations in R & D incentives. The bipartisan legislation was introduced this week.

Obamacare beats its deadline, confusion still reigns. The Obama administration met a deadline to appeal the Florida court decision overturning the president’s healthcare reform laws. The appeal will likely be heard this summer and the Supreme Court may get to it before the next presidential election.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

Yet even with the stay, Florida will isn’t moving forward with healthcare reform.

Nursing strikes in Boston? Nurses at five hospitals – including Tufts Medical Center in Boston – are said to be planning a five-day nurses strike close to the Easter holiday.

META analysis forgets funders. Researchers who review several sets of large drug trials don’t take financial backing into account.

A geyser of medical idiocy? In The Pipeline’s Derek Lowe has just about had it with pharma critiques that are, in his words, a “geyser of idiocy” and a “waste of electrons.”

Honestly, I really think that we should make a bigger deal out of clinical failures in this industry, so that people realize that (1) we’re always trying to do something, (2) it doesn’t always work, and (3) it costs a godawful amount of money. As it is now, no one outside of the industry really notices or remembers when the giant multi-year research programs go down in expensive flames. And that leaves the door open for knuckle-dragging stuff as quoted above, and for the fools who believe it.