The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Wilson’s intensity was unmatched, his toughness feared and his loyalty unprecedented. He was a Cardinal through and through, and when he hangs up his cleats for good there will no doubt be a place for him in the team’s Ring of Honor. Because there are not enough ways to honor someone who was a five-time team captain and is one of just six players in league history with at least 25 sacks and 25 interceptions.But that’s still a few years down the road. No doubt Wilson believes he can still play at a high level, and it would not be at all surprising to see him put together a couple more quality seasons. Putting on another team’s uniform will be strange for Wilson, just as it will be weird to see him wearing any color other than Cardinal Red. But that’s life in the NFL, and it’s something Cardinals fans should hope they have to start getting used to. This is new territory for the Arizona Cardinals.Rarely have they had a player as great as Adrian Wilson, and rarely have they had a player as great as Adrian Wilson stick around for more than a decade.But that’s what the safety did, and his 12-year run with the team officially came to an end Friday when the Cardinals announced his release.It was no doubt a difficult decision, but it’s one that many teams have made many times before. Just not the Cardinals, and that’s what makes this so tough to swallow. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling But it was time.A five-time Pro Bowler, Wilson is clearly on the downside of his career. He racked up just 54 tackles in 2012 after seeing his role reduced, and it was time for the team to go in a different direction.“All of us thank Adrian for what he has meant not only to our organization but also to this community,” said Cardinals President Michael Bidwill in a press release. “In every franchise, there is a select group of players whose contributions earn them iconic status and for us, Adrian Wilson will always be one of those players.”The Cardinals never would have reached relevancy had it not been for Wilson. The Cardinals never would have won back-to-back NFC West titles had it not been for Wilson. The Cardinals never would have reached Super Bowl XLIII if not for Wilson.But the NFL is a business, and a harsh one at that. There’s little room for sentimentality if the goal is to win, and Bidwill has made it quite clear what his priority is. So, if that means parting with a fan favorite and franchise stalwart, so be it. This is the NFL, folks, and that’s what happens.“Decisions like this are never easy but it’s especially tough with someone like Adrian because he’s been such a special player and important part of this organization for the last 12 years,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim said in the same press release. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Drugmakers including Gilead Sciences Inc. and AbbVie Inc. were contacted by the U.S. government’s Medicaid agency to discuss options for how to pay for hepatitis C cures whose costs have eaten into state budgets. The companies, along with Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co., were asked in letters from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide information on arrangements they make with health insurers to link payments to the outcomes of their treatments. Such arrangements may affect the prices that drugmakers are required to offer under the Medicaid program, the agency said Thursday. (Tracer, 11/5) Bloomberg: Gilead, AbbVie Asked By U.S. For Hepatitis C Pricing Options Not long ago, it would have been almost unimaginable for PhRMA — short for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — to criticize any company in its field. But faced with nationwide rebukes and attacks from presidential candidates over drug prices, the industry group is confronting a public storm unlike any in years. In response, according to lobbyists, congressional aides, and pharmaceutical executives, PhRMA is not only aggressively criticizing what it perceives as bad actors but also deliberating internally how to rehabilitate the industry’s image. (Scott, 11/6) The Associated Press: Pfizer Doubling Patient Income Limit For Drug Program Administration Warns States Against Limiting Costly Hepatitis C Drugs In Medicaid Programs The federal officials also sent letters to drug makers asking what efforts they have pursued to make the drugs more affordable. In other news, a look at how the powerful drug makers’ lobby is responding to recent reports of price hikes, and Pfizer announces it is increasing its drug assistance program for patients. Confronting the consequences of high-priced drugs, the Obama administration Thursday pointedly reminded states that they cannot legally restrict access by low-income people to revolutionary cures for liver-wasting hepatitis C infection. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also sent letters to several drug manufacturers, requesting details of what they are doing to make their medications more affordable. Among the companies getting federal letters was California based Gilead Sciences, maker of market-leading Harvoni. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 11/5) In a sign of growing government interest in rising prescription-drug costs, federal officials on Thursday said state Medicaid programs may be violating federal law by denying patients expensive hepatitis C medications. They also asked drug makers to provide information on their pricing arrangements with health insurers, which officials said could help ease the financial burden on state budgets. (Walker, 11/5) STAT: Under Siege Over Price, Drug Makers Ready Their Counterpunch The Wall Street Journal: Federal Officials Warn States On Hepatitis C Drug Restrictions The Associated Press: Feds Worry That Low-Income People May Not Get Hepatitis Cure Pfizer, the biggest U.S.-based drugmaker, is increasing its financial assistance to patients, doubling the allowable income level for people to receive dozens of Pfizer medicines for free. The move comes amid fierce criticism by patients and politicians, as well as government investigations, of soaring prices for new medications and even old ones with little or no competition. (Johnson, 11/5) Bloomberg: Valeant’s Drop Continues Unabated As Stock Falls Below $80 Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. dropped below $80 a share for the first time in more than two years as investors grappled with the drugmaker’s mounting challenges and a top shareholder, Bill Ackman, discussed how his confidence in the company’s leadership had briefly wavered. Valeant has been under pressure over how it prices its drugs and its relationship with Philidor Rx Services, a mail-order pharmacy that it cut ties with on Oct. 30. Members of Congress said Wednesday that they want to investigate Valeant’s pricing practices. (Bloomfield, 11/5) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.