Saturday, August 31, 2019

Dispensed: Business Insider weekly healthcare newsletter August 30 - Business Insider

Dispensed: Business Insider weekly healthcare newsletter August 30 - Business Insider


Dispensed: Business Insider weekly healthcare newsletter August 30 - Business Insider

Posted: 30 Aug 2019 10:36 AM PDT

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Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

Hello,

Healthcare reporter Clarrie Feinstein here, writing the weekly newsletter while Lydia Ramsey continues her wonderful travels for her honeymoon! We're definitely starting to miss her in the office.

Even though the holiday weekend is just around the corner, and New York City is feeling a little more quiet than usual (hard to believe, but it's true!) we still have lots of important healthcare stories from the last week to share with you all.

The top story I want to highlight came from Lydia and Emma Court, who gave us the inside scoop on how a birth-control-pill delivery startup sparked a feud with CVS on Twitter.

Are you new to our newsletter? You can sign up for Dispensed here.

The inside story of how a tiny startup and a controversial Twitter doctor sparked viral internet outrage against CVS

One of The Pill Club's

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One of The Pill Club's "care packages."
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Courtesy The Pill Club

They found a trending story on Twitter when viral backlash erupted against CVS. The social media conversation framed CVS as a massive corporation bent on obstructing women's access to contraception. But after some digging, Emma and Lydia found that the startup, Pill Club, engineered the campaign with the help of a marketing firm and a controversial physician. Read the full story here.

Emma also interviewed Halle Tecco, the cofounder of the venture capital firm Rock Health. They discussed her personal reason for starting a women's-health-focused startup. The startup, Natalist, is first offering a subscription bundle for women who are seeking to get pregnant. The idea came out of Tecco's experiences trying to get pregnant. The story is poignant and well worth a read. Check it out:

The woman who founded top health-tech VC Rock Health is now launching her first startup, and it shows that a long-neglected market is heating up

The marijuana breathalyzer.

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The marijuana breathalyzer.
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Hound Labs

Our stellar west coast reporter, Erin Brodwin, gave us an inside look at a new marijuana breathalyzer (this is not a drill). The device is still in early stages of development, but the goal is to be able tell to tell if people are too high to drive or work.

The startup behind the world's first marijuana breathalyzer just raised a fresh $30 million and offered a glimpse at how the device works

And this week, I spoke with the CEO of the new pharmacy startup Zipdrug, which is creating its own network of pharmacies to deliver prescription drugs to seniors in the US. We walk you through how the new startup operates and discuss how the startup will break into a competitive market, with big players like CVS Health already offering similar services.

A startup working with 200 pharmacies is trying to break into the hypercompetitive drug-delivery business and give elderly Americans cheaper medications

But the team didn't stop there!

As you can see the healthcare team has been busy as ever. And we're not going to lie, we're excited for a little break with the upcoming holiday weekend. I'll be heading back home to Canada, seeing some friends in Montreal!

From the healthcare team, we hope everyone has a relaxing Labor Day weekend. We'll be back reporting bright and early on Tuesday…not wearing white, we promise.

As always, you can reach us with tips at healthcare@businessinsider.com.

Thanks for reading.

-Clarrie

Trump says it 'shouldn't be too bad' if someone hacks his Twitter - Business Insider

Posted: 30 Aug 2019 07:34 PM PDT

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media prior to his departure for Camp David August 30, 2019 at the White House in Washington, DC.
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President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media prior to his departure for Camp David August 30, 2019 at the White House in Washington, DC.
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Getty Images/Alex Wong
  • President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed concerns that his Twitter account could be hacked, saying it "shouldn't be too bad" if it happened.
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's account was hacked on Friday, immediately prompting questions about how secure Trump's account might be.
  • Trump said it probably wouldn't be too exposing because the hackers are "not going to learn too much more than what I put out, right?"
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump on Friday mused about the possibility of his infamous Twitter account being hacked, but dismissed the scenario and said it "shouldn't be too bad" if it happened.

The topic came up shortly after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's account was hacked on Friday, and began tweeting out a barrage of racist and offensive messages.

The incident left Twitter users shocked and wondering what would happen if the president's account met a similar fate – and what sort of damage hackers could do.

Trump's account boasts 63.7 million followers, and he frequently tweets policy updates and announcements from his account. Some wondered what would happen if a hacker took control and began tweeting false information about security threats, political alliances, or even war.

Read more: It took Twitter longer to secure Jack Dorsey's account from hackers than it would for a nuclear missile to travel around the world – and that should terrify you

White House reporters asked Trump about the possibility as he boarded Marine One, but Trump appeared unconcerned.

"Well, I hope they're not hacking my account," he said, according to a pool report. "But, actually, if they do, they're not going to learn too much more than what I put out, right? Shouldn't be too bad."

Trump's account has previously been compromised – a rogue Twitter employee deactivated Trump's account for roughly 11 minutes in 2017.

NSA John Bolton stonewalled from meetings, suspected of leaking - INSIDER

Posted: 30 Aug 2019 08:21 PM PDT

  • US officials have reportedly stymied National Security Adviser John Bolton's efforts to get involved in foreign policy matters, and have even gone so far as to try and exclude him from top-level meetings.
  • Bolton, who is widely viewed as a foreign policy hawk, was originally not invited to a meeting with top military officials for fear he would derail diplomatic plans regarding the Taliban, several senior officials familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.
  • Senior US officials have reportedly been wary of Bolton's activities and have been concerned about leaks from his team.
  • "His team has a reputation for losing and leaking," a senior official told The Post.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

US officials have stymied National Security Adviser John Bolton's efforts to get involved in matters of foreign policy, and have even gone so far as to try and exclude him from top level meetings, according to a Washington Post report published Friday.

According to the report, which cited six unnamed senior US officials, Bolton was not initially invited to a meeting comprised of top military officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

The meeting to discuss a possible peace plan with the Taliban in Afghanistan was held at President Donald Trump's golf club in New Jersey earlier in August.

"This is jaw-dropping," Susan Rice, former President Barack Obama's national security adviser, said on Twitter. "Never heard of an NSA being cut out and dissed like this."

Read more: North Korea's Kim Jong Un reportedly called Trump official 'famous' and offered to take a picture with him

Bolton, who is widely viewed as a foreign policy hawk, was originally not invited to the meeting due to concerns he would derail the plans, several senior officials familiar with the matter told The Post.

Bolton replaced H.R. McMaster in March, and has been criticized for his past views and tendencies. He has written opinion columns discussing the merits of preemptively attacking North Korea, and has railed against the US's strategy on Iran in interviews.

Bolton's opposition to the US's diplomatic strategy in Afghanistan, where the US nears its 18th year of war, has even annoyed Trump, senior officials said to The Post. Trump said Thursday he would draw down the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 8,600, and that peace talks with the Taliban were progressing.

The senior US officials have also been wary of Bolton's activities and have been concerned about leaks from his team. According to one official in the report, Bolton requested a draft copy of the US agreements with the Taliban but was denied by Zalmay Khalilzad, the US representative for peace in Afghanistan, and could only read it with another senior official present.

One official reportedly downplayed the implications and said the draft was eventually sent to the National Security Council.

"His team has a reputation for losing and leaking," a senior official told The Post.

"It's messed up on so many levels that the national security adviser isn't involved, but trust is a real issue," another senior official reportedly said.

In response to The Post's questions, Bolton said he can "categorically deny leaks by me or anyone authorized to speak to the press."

A man was found dead at Burning Man, and police are investigating after his death was deemed 'suspicious' - Business Insider

Posted: 30 Aug 2019 11:02 AM PDT

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jon collier/Flickr
  • The police said that a man was found dead at Burning Man on Thursday and that his death was being investigated as suspicious, the Reno Gazette Journal reported.
  • Authorities identified the man as Shane Billingham.
  • Burning Man is an annual arts-and-culture festival that kicked off last weekend in the Nevada desert.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The death of a man at the Burning Man festival is being investigated as "suspicious," the police say, the Reno Gazette Journal reported on Friday.

The man was found dead Thursday at Burning Man, the nine-day festival in full swing in the middle of the Nevada desert. Upon further investigation by the medical examiner's office, his death was deemed suspicious, the Gazette Journal said.

The police have since identified the man as Shane Billingham. He had already been declared dead by doctors at the festival's medical tent when the police arrived, according to the report. The scene at Burning Man was secured for the investigation.

Read more: Burning Man banned an infamous $100,000-a-ticket camp favored by influencers after backlash from fellow attendees

Burning Man started August 25 and runs through September 3. Up to 80,000 attendees are expected over the nine-day festival of art installations, musical performances, and general mayhem. Past events have attracted influencers, celebrities, and the Silicon Valley elite.

This isn't the first time someone has died at Burning Man, which has been running annually since 1986.

Last year, a vendor employee died; authorities had found him "unresponsive and not breathing" in a truck, SFGate reported. In 2017, a man died after running into the flames from an effigy being burned. In 2014, a woman died after "falling under a bus carrying participants," Burning Man's organizers wrote in a blog post.

MoviePass laid off 7, including entire exhibitor-relations team - Business Insider

Posted: 30 Aug 2019 01:29 PM PDT

The downfall of MoviePass continues.

This week, the New York City-based movie-ticket subscription service laid off at least seven employees, including the office manager, members of the marketing department, and the two-person exhibitor-relations team, multiple sources close to the company told Business Insider.

MoviePass did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

The firing of the exhibitor-relations team, whose sole purpose was to build relationships with movie theaters, is a major loss for a company that needs connections with movie theaters for discounts on bulk tickets, as well as advertising and marketing deals.

Read more: The definitive story of how a controversial Florida businessman blew up MoviePass and burned hundreds of millions

The MoviePass staff is now down to about 12 full-time employees, one source close to the company said. There are also a few consultants who work for the company. At the company's height in 2017, the staff numbered around 40.

Since then, the company has fallen on hard times.

MoviePass' parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, blew through hundreds of millions of dollars trying to keep MoviePass afloat and was delisted from the Nasdaq in February after its stock had been trading below $1 for months. To curb its cash burn, MoviePass added unpopular restrictions to its app, which contributed to a drastic fall in subscriber count. Internal data that Business Insider obtained in April showed MoviePass' number of subscribers had fallen from over 3 million to about 225,000.

Read more: MoviePass customers' credit card information was reportedly left exposed in an online database without a password

During MoviePass' downward spiral, CEO Mitch Lowe used questionable tactics to keep the company going, like blocking subscribers out of their accounts, according to multiple inside sources who Business Insider spoke with during a four-month investigation into the company's practices published in August.

On July 4, MoviePass shut down, citing "technical problems." Since then, the service has gradually come back online for some subscribers. In early August, a MoviePass spokesperson told Business Insider that MoviePass was available for 40% of subscribers.

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