Bob Herman Feb 13, 2017
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Marathon pauses rollout of pricey drug

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Marathon Pharmaceuticals is delaying the U.S. launch of its drug recently approved to treat patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy after its $89,000 list price stoked an uproar from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Elijah Cummings, patient groups and many who work in the industry.

Patient advocacy group Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy announced the pause, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, on Monday afternoon. The group said it was "alarmed by the hefty price tag being considered for Emflaza in the U.S., especially considering this is not a new drug."

Marathon responded that it is "taking this pause so that conversations between the company and the community can continue before a launch price is finalized." The company had said the amount it will actually receive, net of rebates and discounts, will be $54,000 annually — still a lot more expensive than what the drug costs abroad.

Why this matters: Several years ago, Marathon's drug price hike would have floated under the radar. But this is the clearest example yet of what will happen if drug companies price medications beyond what is acceptable by the public and Congress.

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What McCabe told Mueller

Photo: Pete Marovich / Getty Images

Andrew McCabe says President Trump asked him: “What was it like when your wife lost? ... So tell me, what was it like to lose?" McCabe — the former FBI deputy director who was fired Friday night, 26 hours short of being eligible for a full pension — says that in three or four interactions, President Trump was disparaging each time of his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, a failed Virginia state Senate candidate in 2015. John Dowd, a Trump lawyer, told me: "I am told that the P never made that statement according to two others who were present."

The big picture: Axios has learned that McCabe has met with special counsel Robert Mueller, and has turned over Comey-style memos documenting his conversations with Trump. The memos include corroboration by McCabe of former FBI Director James Comey's account of his own firing by Trump.

Haley Britzky 10 hours ago
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Women and jihad: from bride to the front line

Suspected Al Qaeda-aligned Shabaab militants, a woman and her three children, sit next to weapons after their arrest on May 5, 2016 in Mogadishu
Suspected Al Qaeda-aligned Shabaab militants, a woman and her children, sit next to weapons after their arrest on May 5, 2016 in Mogadishu. Photo: Mohamed Abdiwahab / AFP / Getty Images

A women's magazine, unveiled in December, gives tips on how to be a "good bride" and make life easier for the man in your life. The twist: the magazine, "Beituki," is published by al-Qaeda as part of a propaganda campaign which "appears, in part, to be a reaction to Islamic State (IS), which has called women to the front lines," per the Economist.

The big picture: Extremist organizations are struggling to define what women's roles in their groups should be. While some force women to "remain indoors," as Beituki suggests, others have placed women on the front lines, or utilized them as recruiters.