Federal officials say that some of the money changing hands has corrupted doctors and endangered patients.
The federal approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease has reignited the debate over drug prices and the way the Food and Drug Administration makes decisions. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden seeks to gain goodwill overseas as he announces the U.S. will provide 500 million doses of covid vaccine to international health efforts. Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. And to mark the podcast’s 200th episode, the panelists discuss what has surprised them most and least over the past four years.
Safety-net clinics especially are bracing for how the drugmaker’s policy shift could reduce their budgets and hamstring their ability to provide care to an at-risk population.
As vaccine expiration dates loom, states with hundreds of thousands of doses on hand say demand is tanking and there’s no easy way to donate to other states or countries that might want them
The agency is to decide by June 7 whether to greenlight Biogen’s drug aducanumab, despite a near-unanimous rejection of the product by an FDA advisory committee of outside experts in November. Some scientists at the agency have endorsed the drug, though.
Republicans, Democrats and the public at large agree that prices for prescription drugs are too high. But no one seems to know how to fix it. Vanderbilt University drug price researcher Stacie Dusetzina explains the basics of why drugs cost so much and why it’s hard to do something about it. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Anna Edney of Bloomberg News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss the prospects for policy changes.
Federal officials asked a court to dismiss a suit by drugmakers over the policy enacted by the Trump administration that would allow states to bring in cheaper prescription medications from Canada. The filing said the lawsuit was moot because it’s unclear when or if the FDA would approve any state’s importation plan.
In big cities and small towns, opioid use among some young hip-hop fans is about emulating their favorite rap star’s image — while paying little attention to the serious consequences.
Lawmakers are working on fleshing out the concept of a “public option,” a government-run or heavily regulated insurance plan that would compete with private insurance. But the details are complicated, both substantively and politically. Meanwhile, bioethicists are debating whether the U.S. should be vaccinating low-risk adolescents against covid-19 while high-risk adults in other countries are still waiting. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Colorado is one of many states resolved not to wait for federal action to reduce drug costs. Its legislature is considering several ways to lower costs for consumers and the state.