Who benefits from the demand for plan B?
Men taking advantage of Plan B demand
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, many women rushed to stock up on emergency contraceptive pills, hoping to exert more control over their bodies or because they feared the products would be restricted. (Birth control remains legal in the United States.) Pharmacies have found themselves running out of pills, and some are limiting purchases.
The surge in demand could generate huge profits for the two private equity firms behind the best-known morning-after pill, Plan B. It could also put Plan B in the middle of the fight for the right to abortion.
The all-male teams of investors behind Plan B are ready to make big money. According to the websites of two private equity firms, Kelso and Juggernaut, only men make up the teams that oversee the maker of America’s top-selling emergency contraception. And their paydays could be big. A Plan B brand dose usually sells for around $46. And it’s probably pretty profitable: It had a profit margin of more than 85% when sold as a prescription drug by Barr, said David Woodburn, a former analyst who covered the company. (Neither of the companies responded to DealBook’s requests for comment on the gender composition of their teams.)
Plan B creator had exclusive marketing rights for three years after the FDA expanded over-the-counter use of the drug to all ages in 2013. This exclusivity plays a big role in brand awareness. The brand faces competition from cheaper generic versions, but women often prefer familiar brands of health products like emergency contraception, analysts said. Teva, which acquired Barr, sold Plan B to Kelso and Juggernaut in 2017 for $675 million. The companies run Plan B through Foundation Consumer Healthcare, a company that owns several over-the-counter brands, including the cold medicine Dimetapp.
The language on the packaging of the emergency pill could pave the way for its restriction. Plan B works primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovaries. But some believe that its manufacturer had to use certain formulations to get it approved by the FDA in 2006 for over-the-counter use. As such, Plan B’s label states that it can also prevent a fertilized embryo from attaching to the uterus. This distinction is important because some states argue that a fertilized embryo is a person, which could justify banning plan B. To avoid this, Foundation Consumer and its owners could petition the FDA for an updated label, but that could put the companies in the middle of a political crosshairs they would likely prefer to avoid.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS
Ernst & Young fined $100 million for cheating on exams. The SEC has imposed its biggest fine on an auditing firm after it found that some auditors had cheated on ethics reviews. “It is simply outrageous that the very professionals responsible for detecting cheating by clients cheated on ethics reviews,” said Gurbir Grewal, the commission’s director of enforcement.
The leaders of the Group of 7 agree to ask for a cap on the price of Russian oil. As Russia’s oil revenues remain high, G7 officials agreed to the temporary move to slow down President Vladimir Putin’s war machine. The group will also pledge to spend $4.5 billion this year to address global food shortages caused by the invasion of Ukraine.
At least 46 migrants are found dead in San Antonio in and around an abandoned tractor-trailer. It appears to be one of the worst episodes of migrant deaths in the United States in recent years. Officials have suggested the extreme heat contributed to the deaths of the migrants, who are believed to have entered the country from Mexico.
China is relaxing its quarantine rules for international arrivals. China’s economy has endured months of uncertainty due to the country’s strict Covid rules, but the Shanghai stock exchange jumped on the news that the mandatory time in a quarantine facility will drop to a week, half of the current requirement.
Verification of receipts
Several companies have pledged to help employees cross state lines to have abortions since it first emerged that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade. But many of these companies have also made donations to political campaigns that actively worked to undermine Roe. The journalist Dan instead asked which support companies “also donated money to senators who voted to confirm judges who gutted that constitutional right?”
DealBook has checked records and at least 11 companies that offer to cover employee abortion-related travel expenses – Citigroup, Disney, Goldman Sachs, Google, Intuit, JPMorgan Chase, Meta/Facebook, Microsoft, PayPal, Salesforce and Yelp – also donated to the Republican National Senate Committee, which helped elect some of the lawmakers who confirmed the conservative justices appointed by President Donald Trump. Their contributions through the company’s political action committees, which collect employee donations, totaled about $440,000 from 2017 to present, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Companies respond: A Yelp spokeswoman noted that the company gives to both Democrats and Republicans. A spokesperson for Intuit said its PAC was nonpartisan. A PayPal spokeswoman said its PAC has not made a political contribution since 2020. Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase declined to comment. Google, Facebook and Goldman did not respond to requests for comment, and Salesforce did not comment in time for publication.
Corporations are big political spenders. “The large public companies and their professional associations have been the major donors to the Republican Attorneys General Association and the Republican State Leadership Committee and, to a lesser extent, the Republican Governors Association,” said Bruce Freed of the Center for Political Accountability, a nonprofit group. Members of these Republican groups have worked to restrict abortion rights. Dating site company Match Group set up a fund to cover costs associated with tough restrictions on abortion in Texas last year, but as Popular Information reported, the company also donated $137,000 to the Republican Attorneys General Association, arguably undermining the women’s rights it now promises. sustain.
Point an arrow at Robinhood?
Last month, crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried bought nearly 8% of Robinhood, the app-based brokerage firm. Now he would consider an offer for the whole shebang.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that FTX – which made a mini-acquisition as crypto prices crashed – had internal discussions about whether to buy Robinhood. Shares of the once popular brokerage firm are up 14% on the news but are still down 80% from their IPO price. At the current market cap, FTX could buy the rest of Robinhood for just $7 billion.
Bankman-Fried said yesterday that “there are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood.” But in a statement later that day to DealBook and others, he said he was “excited about the prospects for Robinhood” and believed the two companies could work together. This leaves the door open for an agreement and raises some questions.
How would a deal be made? Investors valued Bahamas-headquartered FTX at $32 billion earlier this year. But does FTX really want to be within reach of US regulators? It has a sister company, FTX.US, based in San Francisco, which has a much lower valuation. Bankman-Fried alone is worth around $20 billion, according to Forbes. How much of that is he willing to risk on Robinhood?
Would FTX change Robinhood’s commission-free business model? Much of Robinhood’s revenue comes from payment for order flow, a controversial Wall Street trading practice that the Securities and Exchange Commission plans to at least partially eliminate. Last month, FTX launched a trial of its own commission-free stock brokerage firm and pledged not to enter into any trades that involved payment for order flow. Maybe FTX’s crypto trading business is profitable enough to use Robinhood’s stock trades as a loss leader?
What would happen if the trading activity of Robinhood, rich in meme stocks, mixed with the crypto volatility of FTX? “It’s a recipe for trouble,” said Paul Rowady, director of research at brokerage technology consultancy Alphacution. He said allowing FTX customers to fund their Robinhood accounts to buy GameStop and similar stocks would add volatility to volatility. “My thought bubble for SBF would be, ‘Don’t,'” Rowady said, referring to Bankman-Fried.
“It’s a doomsday scenario if individuals have to bring their health care choices to their employers.”
— Dina Fierro, global vice president of cosmetics company Nars. The wave of new employer commitments around abortion has raised concerns from some workers about privacy.
New York’s Wealth Exodus
The hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who left the city at the start of the coronavirus pandemic drained it of $21 billion in taxable income, according to IRS returns received in 2020 and 2021.
New York City is heavily dependent on its wealthiest residents to support schools, law enforcement and other public services. The outflow of around 300,000 residents was the city’s largest ever, report Nicole Hong and Matthew Haag of The Times, and it will have long-lasting effects.
The city’s top 1%, who earn more than $804,000 a year, contributed 41% of New York’s personal income taxes in 2019.
The outlook for the city could be bleak. It collected more tax revenue in 2020 and 2021 than in 2019, thanks in part to at least $16 billion in federal pandemic assistance. But many forms of stimulus have now come to an end. And the loss of in-person workers has caused the market value of office buildings to plummet during the pandemic, leading to a sharp drop in property tax revenue.
The exodus of New Yorkers to Florida has been particularly brutal. The pandemic has accelerated the relocation of several New York-based financial firms to new offices or headquarters in Florida, including hedge fund Elliott Management. The company’s co-chief executive, Jonathan Pollock, is now a full-time resident of Florida, according to information obtained by The Times.
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