Los Angeles Times: Boycott of Glaxo products protests U.S. drug prices
When Glaxo-SmithKline, the maker of Aquafresh toothpaste, Tums tablets, and prescription medications, decided to curtail shipments of its drugs to Canada, where U.S. customers can buy them 40 to 80 percent cheaper than in the United States, the Action Alliance of Senior Citizens in Philadelphia called for a national boycott of Glaxo products, reports the March 17 Los Angeles Times. The boycott is a public reaction to U.S. drug prices, which are among the highest in the world. Many Americans needing prescription medications are getting them through Canadian Internet pharmacies, whose prices are far less than in the United States. For example, a 90-day supply of one of Glaxo’s products, Avandia, sells for $252 — but about $374 in the United States. “Allowing people to buy drugs in Canada is a safety valve,” says Alan Sager, an SPH professor of health services and an expert on the pharmaceutical industry. He believes drug makers’ interest might be better served by allowing sales of their products through Internet pharmacies, so Congress will not get as much pressure to enact drug price controls.
Boston Globe: Trinity Church restoration will preserve “a masterpiece”
Years of wind, rain, cold, and grime have taken their toll on Copley Square’s 126-year-old Trinity Church, near Boston’s Hancock Tower, resulting in a leaking tile roof and stone tower, water damage to murals by John LaFarge, high-wind damage to its stained glass, and exterior cracking, says the March 16 Boston Globe. Unconventional scaffolding is being erected so that artisans can begin repointing and sealing the 372-foot-high central tower, and over the next several years the parish hopes to raise nearly $42 million to cover the cost of the restoration. “It’s a very expensive undertaking, but the people who were here before us created a masterpiece, and we’re determined to make sure it’s treated appropriately,” says parishioner Keith Morgan, a CAS professor of art history and the director of the graduate admissions program.
New York Times: Charitable donations to universities and colleges drop, but BU is “on target”
A shrunken stock market and a weakened economy are seriously
affecting philanthrophy — 960 colleges and universities surveyed
report that contributions dropped last year for the first time in 15 years,
according to a March 13 New York Times article. Attracting donations is
more difficult because of uncertainties over the future, university fundraising
officials agree, but some have done well. “We’re on target
here to have our eighth consecutive record year and hit the $100 million
mark, says Christopher Reaske, vice president for development and alumni
relations at Boston University. He says that the University has pulled
in $71.4 million as of March 7, a 39.5 percent increase over the same
period last year, but that pledges of $10,000 and more were down 9.7 percent
compared with last year.