News

Kim Keister leads the News & Politics team of AARP Media and is the editor / manager of the AARP Blog. He's been a journalist for decades, including eight years at AARP Bulletin and AARP.org. Follow him on Twitter @kimkeister

Supreme Court: Drugmakers’ Pay-for-Delay Deals Can Be Illegal

Deals between brand-name drugmakers and their generic drug competitors that keep cheaper products off the market might illegally prevent competition, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 17. In so-called pay-for-delay deals or reverse settlements, a patent holder pays a would-be competitor not to sell a generic version of a drug for a specified period of time. The brand-name manufacturer can continue to charge monopoly prices, and the generic company is compensated for inaction. In Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, the …

Does a Top Drugmaker’s Playbook Stifle Competition?

If you owned the bestselling prescription drug of all time and its patent was about to expire, how would you prepare for competition from generic drugs? You might look at what Pfizer did when time was running out on its patent for the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, which by 2011 had become the all-time bestselling prescription drug of any kind. And you could save yourself some time by reviewing a new AARP Public Policy Institute case study of Pfizer’s approach. The …

Will the Obamas All Get Tattoos?

On the April 24 “Today” show, President Obama laid out the strategy he and Michelle have devised to discourage their daughters from getting tattoos. “What we’ve said to the girls is, ‘If you guys ever decided you’re going to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place. And we’ll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo,” Obama told Savannah Guthrie in a taped interview. “And our thinking …

Nursing Home Near Texas Blast: ‘Everything Went Flying Everywhere’

Sometimes it seems there’s a special place in hell reserved for older people. When disaster strikes, it finds the most vulnerable among us. Maybe it’s because they’re often clustered in large groups. Maybe it’s because they’re less likely to be able to save themselves. And maybe in part it’s a numbers game: there’s simply more and more senior citizens. We saw it in New Orleans during Katrina and in the Northeast during Superstorm Sandy. And we saw it again when …

The 3 Budget Plans: How Do They Stack Up?

Now that President Obama has sent his 2014 budget proposal to Congress, three blueprints for the nation’s fiscal future are on the table. The other two are sharply divergent plans drafted by the lawmakers who chair the congressional budget committees: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The Republican-controlled House passed the Ryan budget on March 21; the Democratic-controlled Senate passed the Murray budget two days later. We surveyed news accounts and nonpartisan analyses to pull together the …

Justice Kagan’s 55+ Curveball

The surprise entrance of an older couple caused quite a stir at the U.S. Supreme Court’s first day of arguments about same-sex marriage. Justice Elena Kagan summoned the pair from her imagination, and it seems safe to say that Charles J. Cooper, the lawyer representing proponents of limiting marriage, never saw them coming. Here’s how Kagan described them: They’re both over 55 years old, apparently heterosexual and they want to get married. Oh, and she’s past her childbearing years, though …