Statement From FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the Trump Administration’s Plan to Lower Drug Prices

FDA Statement  |  2018-05-11

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Today is an important day in the Administration’s collaborative effort to address the rising cost of drugs. We know that the high list cost of drugs can adversely impact peoples’ access to medicines. People rely on medicines to improve their quality of life, manage chronic conditions and treat life-threatening illnesses. Access to prescription drugs is a matter of public health. I applaud President Trump for making this one of the Administration’s priorities and introducing a bold plan that puts patients first in advancing actions to address the rising list prices of prescription medicines. The FDA shares the goal of ensuring that American patients have access to quality and affordable care that meets their needs. This is why we’re prioritizing actions to encourage the timely development and approval of generics and biosimilars.

To date, we’ve taken a number of steps as part of our Drug Competition Action Plan (DCAP). We’re helping remove barriers to generic drug development and market entry in an effort to spur competition that results in lower drug prices for patients, and greater access.

One key aspect of our role is to strengthen and enhance the overall generic drug review process. We’ve committed to timelier generic drug reviews to reduce the cycles of review that generic applications typically undergo. In 2017, we approved a record number of generic drug applications—more than 1,000 full or tentative approvals. We expect to beat that goal this year. And although the FDA doesn’t have a direct role in drug pricing, by ensuring that regulatory requirements are efficient, predictable and science-based; we can help reduce the time, uncertainty and cost of generic and biosimilar product development.

In addition, we’re calling out abuses of the system that impede competition and doing our part to fix them. The agency is committed to adopting strong policies and taking action, when necessary, to reduce gaming of statutory and regulatory requirements to help ensure that drug companies don’t use anticompetitive strategies to delay development and approval of important generic drugs.

Our efforts have included taking significant steps to support complex generic drug development and application review; prioritizing the review of certain generics; publishing a list of off-patent, off-exclusivity branded drugs; and enhancing the efficiency of certain aspects of the submission process for generic drug applicants.

The President made it clear today that we all need to play a role—including the FDA and its sister agencies like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—to put American patients first by taking bold actions to help patients have access to affordable medicine. The FDA will continue what it started with DCAP by taking new steps to address the significant health challenges we face and extend that momentum to implementing new measures as part of a forthcoming Biosimilar Action Plan that aims to facilitate the development and approval of biosimilars—which will help address patient access to costly biological products that can treat a range of chronic and life-threatening conditions. We will also be taking additional steps to address some of the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) “gaming” abuses that can delay the entry of generic drugs.

These are among some of the new actions that we’ll be taking in the coming weeks. The FDA will continue to work to promote drug competition and access for patients, to advance our public health goals.

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Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

By USPS  |  2018-05-11

To donate to the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, just place a box or can of non-perishable food next to your mailbox before your letter carrier delivers mail on Saturday, May 12.

Feeding America’s Hungry

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive — the largest one-day food drive in the nation. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, May 12.

Led by letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO), with help from rural letter carriers, other postal employees and other volunteers, the drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 24 years.

Carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters. Nearly 1,500 NALC branches in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands are involved.

The United States Postal Service, National Association of Letter Carriers, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, AFL-CIO, Feeding America, United Way, Valassis and Valpak Direct Marketing Systems are all supporting this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

To donate, just place a box or can of non-perishable food next to your mailbox before your letter carrier delivers mail on the second Saturday in May. The carrier will do the rest. The food is sorted, and delivered to an area food bank or pantry, where it is available for needy families.

With 49 million people facing hunger every day in America, including nearly 16 million children, this drive is one way you can help those in your own city or town who need help.

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PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Recent data shows that homeowners who live in Placer County allocated 30 percent of their income towards housing costs in 2016. This ranks Placer County as the number one county in California for areas with the lowest proportion of income spent on housing costs.

Gavop used data collected by the United States Census Bureau to produce a study on homeowners costs as a percentage of income.  The study analyzed real estate trends at the county level across the United States and found that Placer County had a median household income of $85,426 and a median housing cost of $25,956 per year for those with a mortgage. The 30 percent of income spent on housing costs is the proportion of income allocated to homeowner expenses including the sum of mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance, and utilities.

The percentage of income paid towards homeownership costs is a way to measure the level of debt one has to real estate expenses. Most banks use a measurement called "debit income ratios" when approving loans. In other words, it is a ratio of monthly debt payments divided by one's gross monthly income. This analysis uses median income, home value, and median homeowner cost with a mortgage to replicate a similar debt ratio on the county level.  

"In this study, we looked at annual housing costs as a percentage to gauge how much debt people owe to their living situation based on location," said Gavop analyst Kevin Pryor. "Here, the numbers show that Placer County residents had a median percentage of under 1/3rd  of their income spent on housing costs, resulting in a small debt to homeownership in the area".     

Areas like Placer County that have low percentages of income spent on housing costs are at a low risk to economic pressures. When housing costs are low, people are better equipped to withstand factors like a rise or fall in unemployment or fluctuations in the housing market. Additionally, homeowners in these areas are less likely to go into foreclosures and less likely to experience financial issues when compared to homeowners who spend a large sum of money on their homes each year. 

The following data table used figures from Gavop's analysis to show how the Placer County outperformed state and national levels. 


 

The County's median housing cost in relation to income is less than California's rate of 39 percent, and the national level of 31 percent. Placer's low allocation of income to housing costs is influenced by the county's above state average income level combined with a below average median home value and housing costs. 

In contrast, areas that have high housing costs are also the most likely to be impacted by macroeconomic strains on the economy such as recessions or unemployment. This is because residents that pay a higher percentage of income on living expenses, like mortgages, have less money left over for other expenses as well as less money to put back into the economy.  

For more information please contact Kevin Pryor at 203-518-2348 or email at kevin@gavop.com 

Gavop.com is a real estate, housing, and local data analytics service. Team members research data from public sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau and private databases to produce insightful studies. Gavop’s data is aimed to serve real estate professionals and organizations so they may gain further insight into market dynamics. Data from Gavop has been published in county and city level news organizations across the U.S. with an emphasis on localized data-driven information. Gavop.com is composed of a cross-functional team of software engineers, data scientists, and analysts. 

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Amgen Tour of California in Sacramento

By Sac County News  |  2018-05-10

About Amgen Tour of California: Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring.

​SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Get ready for the Amgen Tour of California! Starting May 13 through May 19, the exciting cycling stage race will cover 645 miles of roadways, highways and coastlines during its seven stages from Long Beach to Sacramento. 

Sacramento County will see cyclists weaving through our area: 

​​​​Thursday, May 17 in Elk Grove for Women’s Overall Start and Stage 5 - Men’s

​​There will be many vantage points along the 77-mile course of the Delta to catch a glimpse of the best riders in the world cruising down the road. Stage 1 of the women’s tour will start in Elk Grove and zoom south on Franklin Boulevard, then east through the Walnut Grove area past Ryde along Highway 160 and up to Courtland. The tour will bring the competitors to Hood and back to Elk Grove. Like the women’s race, the Men’s Stage 5 ends in Elk Grove, but don’t expect the two races to intersect before the finish line. The men’s race heads north and east to enter Sacramento County along Ione Road and travel into Rancho Murieta via Jackson Road (Hwy 16).  They’ll take a left onto Dillard Road and then left onto Clay Station Road. The riders will then bank right onto Twin Cities Road (Hwy 104), whip through Galt, and head north on Bruceville Road into Elk Grove to finish their 109 mile race.  

Friday, May 18, in Folsom for Stage 6 – Men’s

​​The Men’s Stage 6 leaves Sacramento County from Folsom and heads to South Lake Tahoe.

Saturday, May 19, in Sacramento for Men’s Overall Finish and Woman’s Overall Finish 

Both the women’s and men’s race finish at the State Capitol. The women’s race is a flat, 43-mile street course around downtown.  The men take on a 90-mile trek that starts downtown, takes them out to Winters and back to the Capital.

Find out where to watch the Amgen Tour and the festivities that enhance this annual spectator sporting event. There is also a Tour Tracker app so you don’t miss any of the action. 

The Sacramento Sports Commission also has information about the Amgen Tour, things to do and places to eat and encourages spectators use the free bike valet set up by the west steps of the Capitol on Sunday. 

In addition to enjoying the Amgen Tour as a spectator, give bike riding a try. The May is Bike Monthhas great tips for getting started and you can participate in fun riding pledges, challenges, events and prizes. 

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Governor Brown Issues Executive Order to Protect Communities from Wildfire, Climate Impacts

From the Office of Governor Brown  |  2018-05-10

California Governor Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - In the face of the worst wildfires in California’s history, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order to combat dangerous tree mortality, increase the ability of our forests to capture carbon and systematically improve forest management.

“Devastating forest fires are a profound challenge to California,” said Governor Brown. “I intend to mobilize the resources of the state to protect our forests and ensure they absorb carbon to the maximum degree.”

Key elements of the order include:

  • Doubling the land actively managed through vegetation thinning, controlled fires and reforestation from 250,000 acres to 500,000 acres.
  • Launching new training and certification programs to help promote forest health through prescribed burning.
  • Boosting education and outreach to landowners on the most effective ways to reduce vegetation and other forest-fire fuel sources on private lands. 
  • Streamlining permitting for landowner-initiated projects that improve forest health and reduce forest-fire fuels on their properties.
  • Supporting the innovative use of forest products by the building industry.
  • Expanding grants, training and other incentives to improve watersheds.

Today’s order will improve the health of the state’s forests and help mitigate the threat and impacts of deadly and destructive wildfires, which hinder the state’s progress towards its climate goals. Forests serve as the state’s largest land-based carbon sink, drawing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in trees and shrubs and in forest soils. But even a single wildfire can immediately cancel all those benefits. 

The Governor’s May budget revision – to be released tomorrow – will include $96 million (from various funding sources) to support these actions. This $96 million comes in addition to $160 million proposed in January’s Cap and Trade expenditure plan to support forest improvements and fire protection.

A Forest Management Task Force will be convened in the coming weeks to help implement this order and its accompanying Forest Carbon Plan, which was finalized today following more than a year of development and public outreach.

Today’s executive order follows the commitment the Governor made during this year’s State of the State address to thoroughly review – and improve – how the state manages its forests and reduces the threat of devastating fires.

Eight of the state’s 20 most destructive fires have occurred in the past four years. Last winter’s Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties was the largest in recorded history.

Yesterday, the California Environmental Protection Agency released new findings on the significant and growing impacts of climate change in California, noting that fires, drought, sea level rise and record heat pose an immediate and escalating danger to California’s ecosystems, wildlife, public health and economy.

Since convening a Tree Mortality Task Force in 2015, more than 1.2 million dead or dying trees have already been removed from the state’s forests. 

The full text of today’s executive order is available here.

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Reminder: Statewide Direct Primary Election is June 5

From the City of West Sacramento  |  2018-05-09

Register to vote now!

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Statewide Direct Primary Election is June 5th, 2018.  Ensure your right to participate by registering to vote no later than May 21st.  Registration information, including your current status, is available at www.yoloelections.org.  

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National Junior Tennis Tournament Brings Top Youth Tennis Players to Roseville

By Placer County Toursim  |  2018-05-09

About Placer Valley Tourism: Placer Valley Tourism (PVT) is made up for the 23 hotels in Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln, California. PVT recruits and supports hundreds of annual events with grants, marketing, volunteers and other services as needed. To learn more about how PVT can help bring your event here, visit www.playplacer.com or call 916-773-5400.

May 19-21 Johnson Ranch Racquet Club Will Host USTA National Championship Qualifier 

PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - On May 19-21 more than 120 of the nation's top youth tennis players will be competing at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Level 2 Ranking Tournament.  Placer Valley Tourism is excited to be teaming up again with Spare Time, Inc. to help bring a tournament of this caliber to Placer Valley. 

Tournament Director Chrys Atkinson explained that this tournament brings the best 12 and 14-year-old division players from across the USA and showcases boys and girls in single player mode as well as doubles teams. Ultimately they are competing at this event for a berth in the USTA National Championships that takes place later this summer.     

"Spare Time, Inc. is very committed to developing tennis at all levels and we are happy to host this high level USTA National Junior Tournament at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club," added Atkinson.  "Through exposure to our area, we've had players and families relocate to the greater Sacramento area as a result of their experience once they have seen first-hand what a great place we have to live and play."

If you would like to see some great youth tennis and experience a fabulous club setting then mark your calendars for May 19-21 and come on down to Johnson Ranch Racquet Club located at 2600 Eureka Rd. in Roseville.  There is no fee for spectators and refreshments will be available to purchase on-site.  We hope to see you there!  

 

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