10.27.13

Business Longreads for the Week of October 26, 2013.

From the price of life-extending cancer drugs to the ways in which Millennials are reordering society, The Daily Beast brings you the best in business journalism for the week of October 26, 2013.

The Cost of Living

Stephen S. Hall – New York

Zaltrap costs $11,000 a month. Yervoy, $39,000 a month. Sprycel is $123,000 a year. Doctors attempting to keep cancer patients alive another few months or a year are faced with using these drugs with sky-high price tags. With costs that high for the drugs, doctors and hospitals are beginning to question even offering them.

 Is Funeral Chain SCI’s Growth Coming at the Expense of Mourners?

Paul M. Barrett – Bloomberg Businessweek

Service Corporation International (SCI) has over 1,800 funeral homes and cemeteries in North America, over 20,000 employees, and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In a move expected to be completed in 2014, SCI will buy Stewart Enterprises and control 15 percent of the death market. And yet, despite lower overhead, SCI generally charges more than independent funeral homes.

March of the Millenials

Elizabeth Chang, Neely Tucker, Jessica Goldstein, Clinton Yates, Marcia Davis – Washington Post Magazine

It is no secret that Washington, DC has seen explosive growth in population, jobs, and real estate over the past decade. What is not as well known is how much of that growth was fueled by the segment of the population known as Millennials (born roughly between 1980 and 2000). Between 2010 and 2012, half of newcomers to the city were Millennials. Like Baby Boomers before them, this large segment of the population is forcing society and businesses to suit their needs – and nowhere is that more apparent than the nation’s capital.

Could New York City Subways Survive Another Hurricane?

Robert Sullivan ­– New York Times Magazine

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is one of the biggest transit systems in the world, and the lifeblood of New York City. Before the Hurricane Sandy even slammed into the boroughs, the city was working to protect the system from flooding during a storm. But with a system made up of a hodgepodge of new and old infrastructure, and New York City’s geographic vulnerability to rising water, many are asking, can it handle another major storm?