For The Good Of Mankind

Grind for September 17th, 2018
“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.”
– Edgar Allan Poe

A New Chapter

The Headline

Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma steps down to focus on philanthropy

The Grind

Jack Ma, the billionaire entrepreneur who built one of the world’s largest e-commencer companies, announced Monday he would be stepping away from Alibaba to focus on philanthropy.

Ma founded Alibaba in 1999 in his apartment with a goal of connecting small businesses to bigger markets. Today, Alibaba functions in China like Amazon functions in the US.

The company is valued at $420 billion.

The Details

Ma is easily the most famous businessman in China. And with a net worth of $38.6 billion, he is also one of the richest men in the world.

Ma is known for his charisma and candor and is widely viewed as a sort of global ambassador for China. He frequently appears on Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful people.

“Jack overseas and at home is the most recognizable symbol of the China internet explosion and more broadly the China consumer boom,” says business consultant Duncan Clark. “So you have an iconic figure associated with these two major forces, who plans to relinquish his executive functions.”

Ma is also a strong supporter of education and entrepreneurship throughout the world. He makes frequent visits to Africa, where he meets with young entrepreneurs.

His decision to leave Alibaba comes at a time when tech companies in China are facing increasing pressure from the Communist government, which seeks to control their massive databases for purposes of security and spying.

Alibaba has data on hundreds of millions of people who use the company and its services to stream videos, shop online, pay rent, send messages, and post to social media.

Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

The Headline

A group of American hospitals is fighting Big Pharma by manufacturing its own drugs

The Problem

All across the United States, medical professionals are forced to pay exorbitant prices for critical medications that are kept in short supply by pharmaceutical companies.

If they don’t want to pay for the drugs, doctors have to hunt down alternatives – which tend to be inferior.

“The impact on patient care, in terms of trying to find alternatives and scurrying around and trying to find the necessary drugs, is incredibly time-consuming and disconcerting,” says Marc Harrison, President and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare.

The Solution

To address this problem, a group of major American hospitals has teamed up to form Civica Rx – a nonprofit committed to manufacturing its own supply of 14 generic drugs.

The group’s members have already invested $100 million to launch the company, and nearly 500 hospitals have committed up to buying its drugs.

Because Civica Rx is a nonprofit, it can sell its medications without worrying about profits.

“We’re trying to do the right thing – create a first of its kind societal asset with one mission: to make sure essential generic medicines are affordable and available to everyone,” says Civica Rx Chairman Dan Liljenquist.

The company’s first drugs could hit the market as early as next year.

Did you know… An apple, potato, and onion all taste the same if you eat them with your nose plugged.