Category: Pharmaceuticals

  • Why Congress should not mandate disclosure of drug development costs

    An article from the Health Affairs forefront article from Ho and Vertinsky (2022) argues ‘yes’, but the use of any such such information for cost-based pricing is short-sighted. The Ho and Vertinsky say drug cost disclosure would be useful because (i) currently there is little information on the cost of drug development, (ii) it is […]

  • Venture Capitalists’ Perspectives on Incentives for R&D

    A paper by Gracia, David and Conti (2022) in Health Affairs Forefront poses the question ‘how do financial incentives impact venture capitalist’s (VC) investment decisions in early-stage biotech companies, and ultimately innovation?’ To get the answer, the authors interviewed 5 venture capitalists to get their thoughts. Based on these interviews, the authors had 7 key […]

  • Ad Targeting Manchin and AARP Mischaracterizes Medicare Drug-Price Negotiations

    Sen. Joe Manchin and AARP “support government price-setting schemes” to divert money from Medicare to “unrelated government programs or pad big insurers’ profits.” Ad by American Commitment, July 10 A snappy political advertisement from the conservative advocacy group American Commitment bluntly charges Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) with supporting a legislative plan that would drain “billions […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Drug Price Bill Is a Go in the Senate

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. President Joe Biden is the latest top Washington official to test positive for covid-19, following Vice President Kamala Harris, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate […]

  • Roche CEO Severin Schwan to stand down after 14 years

    Long-serving Roche chief executive Severin Schwan is stepping down, to be replaced next March by Thomas Schinecker, currently head of diagnostics at the Swiss group. Schwan (pictured above) has been nominated as chair of Roche’s board of directors however, to succeed Christoph Franz will not seek re-election after more than eight years in the role, […]

  • Parents Become Drug Developers to Save Their Children’s Lives

    Maggie Carmichael wasn’t developing like other kids. As a toddler, she wasn’t walking and had a limited vocabulary for her age. She was diagnosed with PMM2-CDG, potentially fatal gene mutations that cause abnormal enzyme activity — and affect fewer than 1,000 people worldwide. Her parents, Holly and Dan Carmichael, raised $250,000 for scientists to screen […]

  • A Free-for-All From Readers and Tweeters, From Medical Debt to Homelessness

    Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. It is appalling that an article like this even has to be written. Our “healthcare” system is broken.How to get rid of medical debt — or avoid it in the first […]

  • As Big Pharma Loses Interest in New Antibiotics, Infections Are Only Growing Stronger

    Forget covid-19, monkeypox, and other viruses for the moment and consider another threat troubling infectious disease specialists: common urinary tract infections, or UTIs, that lead to emergency room visits and even hospitalizations because of the failure of oral antibiotics. There’s no Operation Warp Speed charging to rescue us from the germs that cause these infections, […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Life After ‘Roe’ Is … Confusing

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Supreme Court’s decision overturning the federal constitutional right to abortion has left confusion in its wake. State abortion laws are in constant flux, patients and providers […]

  • Patients With Epilepsy Navigate Murky Unregulated CBD Industry

    In 2013, Tonya Taylor was suicidal because her epileptic seizures persisted despite taking a long list of medications. Then a fellow patient at a Denver neurologist’s office mentioned something that gave Taylor hope: a CBD oil called Charlotte’s Web. The person told her the oil helped people with uncontrolled epilepsy. However, the doctor would discuss […]

  • Challenge in HTA for gene therapies

    Last month, the Office of Health Economics published a report titled “Health Technology Assessment of Gene Therapies: Are Our Methods Fit for Purpose?” I summarize some of the key challenges and solutions below. Challenge #1: Initial assessment of clinical effectiveness. Since gene therapies often target rare disease, the sample size from clinical trials is often […]

  • Newsom announces California will produce its own ‘low cost’ insulin

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced on Thursday that his state will be producing its own “low cost” insulin, stating, “People should not go into debt to get life-saving medication.” Newsom said that the state budget he recently signs includes $100 million for California to “contract and make [its] own insulin at a cheaper price, […]

  • ‘Free’ Screening? Know Your Rights to Get No-Cost Care

    An ounce of prevention … well, you know the rest. In medicine, prevention aims to spot problems before they worsen, affecting both a patient’s health and finances. One of the more popular parts of the Affordable Care Act, which allows patients to get certain tests or treatments without forking out cash to cover copayments or […]

  • FDA guidance on patient-focused drug development

    FDA wants drugs to be more targeted to factors that impact patient’s lives in ways that they care about. To achieve this goal, last month FDA released a third guidance document on patient focused drug development generally applicable to a variety of clinical outcome assessments (COAs), including patient-reported outcome (PRO), observer-reported outcome (ObsRO), clinician-reported outcome […]

  • How Pfizer Won the Pandemic, Reaping Outsize Profit and Influence

    The grinding two-plus years of the pandemic have yielded outsize benefits for one company — Pfizer — making it both highly influential and hugely profitable as covid-19 continues to infect tens of thousands of people and kill hundreds each day. Its success in developing covid medicines has given the drugmaker unusual weight in determining U.S. […]

  • Effect of pharmaceutical innovation on longevity

    Using data from 2006-2018 across 26 high-income countries, Lichtenberg et al. (2022) measures the relationship between pharmaceutical innovation and longevity. Innovation is measured by “mean vintage…of the drugs used to treat each disease in each country” where vintage is defined as the year of worldwide launch. For the U.S., the authors found that: …the diseases […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The FDA Goes After Nicotine

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. The FDA this week launched a crackdown on smoking and vaping — ordering the vaping device Juul to be taken off the market and announcing its intention […]

  • New Weight Loss Treatment Is Marked by Heavy Marketing and Modest Results

    First came the “edible billboard,” which appeared last year during the holidays in New York’s East Village loaded with cake treats. Then, in late January, came the national marketing campaign, with TV and digital media promoting the idea that trying to lose weight doesn’t mean a person can’t enjoy eating. Those advertising messages are pushing […]

  • How can physicians earn a ‘gold card’?

    Prior authorization is a pain. A paper by Howell et al. (2021) found that the total cost of various utilization management schemes is $93.3 billion of which physicians devote $26.7 billion worth of time to navigate utilization management systems. Payers would argue that prior authorization helps to control costs and stop the prescribing of unnecessary […]

  • At a Bay Area ‘Test-to-Treat’ Site, Few Takers for Free Antivirals

    BERKELEY, Calif. — After avoiding movie theaters, restaurants, and gyms for more than two years, Helen Ho decided to take her first big risk since the start of the pandemic to attend her graduation. In late May, Ho, 32, flew to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to collect her Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University. A few […]

  • The rise of prior authorization

    While many patients and physicians feel that it is increasingly difficult to get insurance to cover new treatments, a JAMA Viewpoint (Resneck 2020) demonstrates this trend numerically.  Prior authorization requirements increased from 8% to approximately 24% of covered drugs on Medicare Part D plans between 2007 and 2019.1 In 4 therapeutic classes (including antidepressants, autoimmune disease […]

  • As Biden Fights Overdoses, Harm Reduction Groups Face Local Opposition

    HOUSTON — Casey Malish had just pulled into an intersection in the 2nd Ward when a woman with tattoos and pinkish hair unexpectedly hopped into the back seat of his gray Mazda. He handles outreach for the Houston Harm Reduction Alliance, a nonprofit that helps drug users like her stay alive. The woman, Desiree Hess, […]

  • Is making mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases profitable?

    COVID-19 vaccines have had a huge beneficial impact on patient health. One study found that between December 2020 and June 2021, COVID-19 vaccines saved 240,000 lives (Vilches et al. 2022). The figure below shows that as the Delta and Omicron variants spread in the fall of 2021, COVID-19 vaccines prevented significant number of deaths according […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Taking a Shot at Gun Control

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. The House passed a package of bills to restrict the availability of assault weapons to minors and other measures to curb gun violence, but talks in the […]

  • Lawmaker Takes on Insurance Companies and Gets Personal About His Health

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Scott Wiener made a startling revelation at a spring legislative committee hearing: “I was in the hospital. I experienced the most intense abdominal pain that I could even imagine.” The Democratic state senator recalled crawling up the stairs to his landlord’s apartment last July to get a ride to the hospital. The […]

  • Misinformation Clouds America’s Most Popular Emergency Contraception

    A brand of specialty mozzarella cheeses. A collection of natural-gas storage terminals. And America’s top-selling emergency contraception. At a moment when half of U.S. states stand poised to outlaw or sharply curtail abortion services, the last-ditch pill for women aiming to stave off an unwanted pregnancy rests in the unlikely stewardship of two private equity […]

  • Readers and Tweeters Go to the Mat on Abortion Rights and Perceived Wrongs

    Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. Pulling No Punches on Abortion Reading the leaked draft opinion felt like a punch in the uterus (“Historic ‘Breach’ Puts Abortion Rights Supporters and Opponents on Alert for Upcoming Earthquake,” May […]

  • Are generic drug prices too low?

    Perhaps the answer is yes, if we want to have a more resilient supply chain. At least that is the argument from a commentary by Mattingly and Conti (2022): Several medications that patients need have been in short supply before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, including low-priced, off-patent generic drugs. The White House recently released […]

  • International Reference Pricing for Cell and Gene Therapies

    In recent years, the US government has had a number of proposals which aim to lower drug prices by linking US drug prices to the prices in other developed countries. This process is known as international reference pricing (IRP). A paper by Sullivan et al. (2022) explains: Federal legislative proposals to address global pricing differences […]

  • Novavax Missed Its Global Moonshot but Is Angling to Win Over mRNA Defectors

    Novavax hitched its wagon to the global coronavirus pandemic. Before most Americans truly grasped the scope of the danger, the small Maryland biotech startup had secured $1.6 billion in U.S. funding for its covid vaccine. Its moonshot goal: delivering 2 billion shots to the world by mid-2021. Although the U.S. commitment eventually expanded to $1.8 […]

  • Tribal Pharmacy Dispenses Free Meds and Fills Gaps for Native Americans in the City

    MINNEAPOLIS — Tucked away on a side street near downtown, the Mashkiki Waakaa’igan Pharmacy offers its Native American clientele the services of any ordinary drugstore — it dispenses critical medication and provides consultation on treatments. But there are two key differences: Every Mashkiki patient gets prescriptions for free — with no out-of-pocket expense — and […]

  • ICER’s updated process for determining unsupported price increases (UPI)

    Last month, ICER updated their protocol for identifying drugs that have unsupported price increases (UPI). Not only is ICER examining rising drug prices, but California and Vermont now have laws tracking substantial drug price increases, requiring drug manufacturers to submit information that might justify increases above a certain threshold. ICER says that the UPI reports […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Invisible Pandemic

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Covid-19 cases are on the rise again, but you couldn’t tell from the behavior of the public (rushing back to normal), as well as public health and […]

  • Is Paxlovid, the Covid Pill, Reaching Those Who Most Need It? The Government Won’t Say

    As the nation largely abandons mask mandates, physical distancing, and other covid-19 prevention strategies, elected officials and health departments alike are now championing antiviral pills. But the federal government isn’t saying how many people have received these potentially lifesaving drugs or whether they’re being distributed equitably. Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill, along with Merck’s molnupiravir, are aimed […]

  • The Licensing Walls Come Tumbling Down

    BY KIM BELLARD Abortion rights continue to be one of the most heated issues in American politics, super-fueled by last week’s leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn 1973’s Roe v. Wade and return the issue to the states to decide.  I’ll leave it to others more qualified than me – women, […]

  • PING Conference 2022 – The Golden Age for Life Sciences Innovation

    The PING Conference 2022 is back in person this year, with opportunities to network face-to-face with people from right across the life sciences ecosystem. We will be going back to the future…with a historic twist! Be informed and be inspired from leading speakers, be networked, be fed, and be entertained! We are delighted to bring […]

  • ¿Puede una inyección mensual frenar la adicción a opioides? Expertos dicen que sí

    Oakland, California.- El doctor Andrew Herring tiene un objetivo claro con los pacientes que buscan medicamentos para tratar la adicción a opioides: persuadirlos de que reciban una inyección de buprenorfina de liberación prolongada. En su clínica de adicciones en el Hospital Highland, un centro público en el corazón de Oakland, Herring promueve la administración de […]

  • Can a Monthly Injection Be the Key to Curbing Addiction? These Experts Say Yes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Dr. Andrew Herring has a clear goal walking into every appointment with patients seeking medication to treat an opioid use disorder: persuade them to get an injection of extended-release buprenorphine. At his addiction clinic at Highland Hospital, a bustling public facility in the heart of Oakland, Herring promotes administering a shot of […]

  • As Overdoses Soar, More States Decriminalize Fentanyl Testing Strips

    With time running out in the 2022 legislative session, Georgia lawmakers took up a bill to regulate raw milk. An amendment suddenly got tacked onto the House version of the bill, although the new wording had nothing to do with dairy. The language called for legalizing the use of strips that test drugs for fentanyl, […]

  • Emergency Contraception Marks a New Battle Line in Texas

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas — “Mysterious Dolphin” needed an emergency contraception pill dropped off on a porch outside of town. Allison Medulan, a sophomore at Texas A&M University who had just come from biology class, saw the request on her cellphone via an anonymous text hotline. She gathered a box of the one-dose contraceptive, a pregnancy […]

  • When does FDA extrapolate clinical trial results to a broader indication

    When new drugs are approved, FDA limits their on-label use to the treatment of specific diseases. A key question is whether the definition of a disease should be narrower or broader. Make the disease definition too broad, then there may not be strong evidence from the clinical trial to support its use among these types […]

  • Preferred Pharmacies in Medicare Part D

    Medicare Part D plans have begun using preferred pharmacy networks in order to steer their beneficiaries to lower cost pharmacies. A key question is, does this work? A paper by Xu et al. (2022) aims to answer this question using 2011-2016 data. that compares Low Income Subsidy (LIS) Medicare beneficiaries and non-LIS beneficiaries. LIS beneficiaries […]

  • Journalists Cover the Gamut, From Rising Insulin Costs to Delays in Autism Care for Children

    KHN Midwest correspondent Bram Sable-Smith shared a firsthand perspective on ballooning insulin costs on “Tradeoffs” on April 21. Click here to hear Sable-Smith on “Tradeoffs” Read Sable-Smith’s “I Write About America’s Absurd Health Care System. Then I Got Caught Up in It.” KHN’s Colleen DeGuzman profiled the last abortion clinic in the Rio Grande Valley […]

  • Is My Drug Copay Coupon a Form of Charity — Or a Bribe?

    Before my insurer had even preapproved coverage of the new injectable medicine my doctor had prescribed, I got a voicemail from its manufacturer informing me that I might qualify for its copay assistance program. That meant the company would cover at least the lion’s share of my copay, leaving me with a minimal, if any, […]

  • Why Cheap, Older Drugs That Might Treat Covid Never Get Out of the Lab

    In March 2020, Dr. Joseph Vinetz left the contemplative world of his Yale University infectious-disease laboratory and plunged into the covid ward at Yale New Haven Hospital, joining an army of health care workers who struggled to treat the deadly viral disease. There were no drugs against covid-19, and no way to predict which infected […]

  • Journalist Puts in a Plug for Better Sleep Cycles During the Pandemic

    KHN assistant social media manager Krishna Sharma discussed how work flexibility can help overcome some sleep problems on Newsy on April 14. Click here to watch Sharma on Newsy Read Sharma’s “Losing Sleep Over the Pandemic? Work Flexibility May Be a Boon for Night Owls’ Health” KHN correspondent Aneri Pattani discussed a surge in the […]

  • Readers and Tweeters Sound Alarm Over Nurse’s Homicide Trial

    Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. Nursing on Trial It’s about time that nurses are held accountable for their jobs (“As a Nurse Faces Prison for a Deadly Error, Her Colleagues Worry: Could I Be Next?” March […]

  • A Travel Nurse Leaves Fears of Hospital Drug Tampering Across Three States

    Health officials in at least three states are investigating a travel nurse suspected of tampering with and potentially contaminating vials and syringes of opioid painkillers in two hospitals, then returning the vials to medication cabinets where they could be unknowingly given to patients. One hundred patients who may have been exposed to contaminated syringes last […]

  • California Handed Its Medicaid Drug Program to One Company. Then Came a Corporate Takeover.

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Prescription drug costs for California’s massive Medicaid program were draining the state budget, so in 2019 Gov. Gavin Newsom asked the private sector for help.  The new Medicaid drug program debuted this January, with a private company in charge. But it was woefully unprepared, and thousands of low-income Californians were left without […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Finally, a Fix for the ‘Family Glitch’

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Biden administration this week moved to fix the so-called family glitch in the Affordable Care Act, which has prevented dependents from getting federal subsidies to buy […]

  • 340B Court Cases

    The Public Health Service Act (PHSA) in 1992, created a program to allow hospitals providing care for underserved communities to be able to access discounted drugs. The program–known as the 340B Drug Pricing Program, has been described as follows: …[The] law requires pharmaceutical manufacturers participating in the Medicaid program to enter into a second agreement […]

  • At a Tennessee Crossroads, Two Pharmacies, a Monkey, and Millions of Pills

    CELINA, Tenn. — It was about 1 a.m. on April 19, 2016, when a burglary alarm sounded at Dale Hollow Pharmacy in Celina, a tiny town in the rolling, wooded hills near the Kentucky border. Two cops responded. As their flashlights bobbed in the darkness, shining through the pharmacy windows, they spotted a sign of […]

  • Big Pharma Is Betting on Bigger Political Ambitions From Sen. Tim Scott

    Sen. Tim Scott, a rising star in the Republican Party with broad popularity in his home state of South Carolina, is getting showered with drug industry money before facing voters this fall. Scott was the top recipient of pharma campaign cash in Congress during the second half of 2021, receiving $99,000, KHN’s Pharma Cash to […]

  • Pfizer CEO Pushes Yearly Shots for Covid. Not So Fast, Experts Say.

    When Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said March 13 that all Americans would need a second booster shot, it struck many covid experts as a self-serving remark without scientific merit. It also set off spasms of doubt over the country’s objectives in its fight against the coronavirus. The decision on how often and widely to vaccinate […]

  • History and Future of the “ISPOR Value Flower”

    That is the name of a recent paper in Value in Health from three of pharmacoeconomics field’s leading scholars: Peter Neumann, Lou Garrison and Richard Wilke. The paper begins by comparing the ISPOR value flower against the recommendations from the Second Panel on Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. Intervention types. The ISPOR Value Flower […]

  • What happened after the implementation of Medicare Part D coverage gap reform?

    Since its inception in 2006, Medicare Part D beneficiaries had to contend with the dreaded “doughnut hole”. The “doughnut hole” is a coverage gap during which patients were required to pay 100% of treatment cost. To help defray some of these costs, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) implemented provisions to reduce the […]

  • Readers and Tweeters Remain Vigilant on Masking and Billing

    Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. Can’t Mask the Worry I am a nursing student writing in response to a recent article by Colleen DeGuzman about new guidelines on masking from the Centers for Disease Control and […]

  • ‘An Arm and a Leg’: Need an Expensive Drug? Here’s What You Need to Know

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Click here for a transcript of the episode. Lillian Karabaic teaches personal finance to millennials through a podcast and community called Oh My Dollar! — and she needs an expensive drug to treat a chronic condition. That makes her an expert on one of the most complex arrangements in the […]

  • Which Companies Aren’t Exiting Russia? Big Pharma

    Even as the war in Ukraine has prompted an exodus of international companies — from fast-food chains and oil producers to luxury retailers — from Russia, U.S. and global drug companies said they would continue manufacturing and selling their products there. Airlines, automakers, banks, and technology giants — at least 320 companies by one count […]

  • California Governor’s Big Promises on Drug Prices Are Slow to Materialize

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When Gov. Gavin Newsom took office in 2019, he promised to lower prescription drug costs for all Californians. But now, as Newsom nears the end of his first term, his ambitious ideas — such as requiring California to make its own insulin and forging drug partnerships across state lines — have failed […]

  • Fact Check: Biden Sets High Bar in 1st State of the Union Speech

    President Joe Biden argued forcefully for the power of democracy while calling out Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a March 1 State of the Union address that soon turned to the domestic concerns of the economy, inflation, and covid-19.  Biden’s one-hour speech was given to a largely unmasked crowd of lawmakers, Supreme Court justices, and […]

  • NICE’s new Severity Adjustment

    In the United Kingdom, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) made an update to their health technology evaluations manual in January 2022. Of particular interest, section 6.2 of the manual states that the review committee “will consider the associated absolute and proportional QALY shortfall.”  The committee defined QALY shortfall two ways: Absolute […]

  • Impact of biosimilar entry on prices of biologic drugs

    I previously covered research from Dickson and Kent (2021) that examined how the entry of generic drugs impacts the price Medicare pays. In that study, the authors found that “the presence of 1 generic competitor was associated with a 14.9% mean price reduction in the bundled ASP, 2 generic competitors were associated with a 32.7% […]

  • Journalists Review Hospital Penalties and Problems Riddling Medicaid Rx Program

    Samantha Young, a political correspondent for California Healthline, on Feb. 15 discussed how Medi-Cal patients struggle to get their prescription drugs on KCRW’s “Press Play.” Click here to hear Young on “Press Play” Read Young’s “‘Somebody Is Gonna Die’: Medi-Cal Patients Struggle to Fill Prescriptions“ Interim Southern bureau editor Andy Miller discussed Medicare penalties for […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: It’s Health Costs, Stupid (2022 Edition)

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The pandemic may be showing signs of winding down, but health care costs are not. In Massachusetts, a fight is shaping up over whether one of the […]

  • Inside the Tactical Tug of War Over the Controversial Alzheimer’s Drug

    The drug industry, patient advocates, and congressional Republicans have all attacked federal officials’ decision to decline routine Medicare coverage for a controversial Alzheimer’s drug. They’ve gone as far as to accuse them of tacit racism, ageism, and discrimination against the disabled — and hinted at a lawsuit — over the decision to pay only for […]

  • 2021 Annual Report on Generic Drug Approvals

    Today, the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its 2021 Annual Report. As noted in the report, 90% of all drugs dispensed in the US are generic. In 2021, there were 776 approved generic drugs through the Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDA) process. Approvals by month are below. […]

  • Journalists Discuss Cracks in the Health Care System and Roadblocks to Covid Booster Shots

    KHN senior correspondent Sarah Jane Tribble discussed her reporting for the podcast “Where It Hurts” on the “Too Long Didn’t Listen” podcast Feb. 3. Click here to hear Tribble on “Too Long Didn’t Listen“ Listen to “Where It Hurts“ KHN senior correspondent and enterprise reporter Liz Szabo discussed the problems immunocompromised people face in accessing […]

  • Patient Demand and Overuse of Prescription Drugs

    The concept of moral hazard is well-known. If patients pay a small share of drug or other medical cost, they may decide to overuse such services. Physicians, however, may also have an incentive to overprescribe if either their reimbursement is tied to prescriptions written. For instance, CMS pays physicians 103% of wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) […]

  • Pharmacies Are Turning Away Immunocompromised Patients Seeking 4th Covid Shot

    Patients with weakened immune systems — who are at high risk from covid-19 — say pharmacies are turning them away when they seek additional vaccine doses recommended by federal health officials. Alyson Smith became eligible this month for a fourth vaccine dose because her medications leave her immunocompromised. Although the Centers for Disease Control and […]

  • Patient, Beware: Some States Still Pushing Ineffective Covid Antibody Treatments

    As the omicron variant completes its sweep across the U.S., states with scarce supplies of monoclonal antibody therapies continue to use two treatments that federal health officials warn no longer work against the highly contagious version of the virus that causes covid-19. The antibody treatment now most recommended is sotrovimab from GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology, […]

  • CHEERS 2022

    How should you report the methodology, results and limitations of your economic model? One of the most commonly used approaches is the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) checklist. CHEERS was developed in 2013 (Husereau et al. 2013) and a new version has been developed this year (Husereau et al. 2022). Below are the […]

  • As Omicron Surges, Effort to Vaccinate Young Children Stalls

    Two months after Pfizer’s covid vaccine was authorized for children ages 5 to 11, just 27% have received at least one shot, according to Jan. 12 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only 18%, or 5 million kids, have both doses. The national effort to vaccinate children has stalled even as the […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Dealing With Drug Prices

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Medicare officials have preliminarily decided to restrict reimbursement for Aduhelm, the controversial Alzheimer’s drug, to only patients participating in approved clinical trials. The FDA approved the drug […]

  • Clinics Say California’s New Medicaid Drug Program Will Force Them to Cut Services

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s sweeping new program to buy prescription drugs for its nearly 14 million Medicaid patients has alarmed health clinics that say they will lose money and have to cut services. Gov. Gavin Newsom acknowledged Monday that some clinics, which serve the poorest Californians, would lose funding, and he included $105 million for […]

  • Overview of FDA Drugs Approved in 2021

    In 2021, the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approved 50 new drugs, either as new molecular entities (NMEs) under New Drug Applications (NDAs), or as new therapeutic biologics under Biologics License Applications (BLAs). FDA summarizes these approvals in their recently released report titled: Advancing Health Through Innovation: New Drug […]

  • The impact of drug innovation on disability and medical care

    New pharmaceutical products aim to help individuals live longer, healthier lives. However, when new drugs come to market, they are typically indicated for a specific disease. In the real world, however, many individuals face multiple conditions. In fact, 57% of Americans have 2 or more medical conditions and 27% have 5 or more medical conditions. […]

  • Deep Roots Help This Chicago Pharmacist Avoid Creating Another Drugstore Desert

    CHICAGO — Del-Kar Pharmacy in the North Lawndale neighborhood has had a front-row seat to history. Martin Luther King Jr. bought his daily newspaper there when he lived in Chicago in the late 1960s. The Black Panthers’ local headquarters was a block away, and the pharmacy shared a building with the Conservative Vice Lords, a […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Manchin Blows Up Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) dashed the hopes of President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats for passage of the giant “Build Back Better” bill before the end of […]

  • Matthew’s health care tidbits: #DigitalHealth valuations

    Each week I’ve been adding a brief tidbits section to the THCB Reader, our weekly newsletter that summarizes the best of THCB that week (Sign up here!). Then I had the brainwave to add them to the blog. They’re short and usually not too sweet! –Matthew Holt For my health care tidbits this week, it’s […]

  • Local Pharmacists Fill Rx Void as Big Brands Pull Out of Rural Areas

    Bill Mather, a pharmacist in the small Iowa city of Greenfield, wanted to make sure his neighbors could fill their prescriptions without driving long distances or enduring long wait times. So when pharmacy chains and big-box stores began expanding into rural markets, he sold his drugstore in 2007 to Pamida, a grocery chain owned by […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Oh, Oh, Omicron

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. This week, the U.S. passed the milestone of 800,000 dead from covid-19, as hospitals are starting to fill following the Thanksgiving holiday and the ominous omicron variant […]

  • Con más muertes por sobredosis, defensores claman por una naloxona de venta libre

    GREENSBORO, Carolina del Norte.- Louise Vincent cree que el grupo que lidera, North Carolina Survivors Union, salva al menos 1,690 vidas al año. El programa de servicios de jeringas y reducción de daños distribuye naloxona, el medicamento que revierte las sobredosis por opioides. La investigación sugiere que este enfoque es eficaz, ya que las personas […]

  • With Overdose Deaths Surging, Advocates on the Ground Push for Over-the-Counter Naloxone

    Treatment for addiction is available. For help, call the free and confidential treatment referral hotline (1-800-662-HELP), or visit GREENSBORO, N.C. — Louise Vincent figures her group, the North Carolina Survivors Union, saves at least 1,690 lives a year. The harm-reduction and syringe service program distributes the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone to people who […]

  • Journalists Explore Health Care Disparities and Policy Pitfalls

    KHN Midwest correspondent Cara Anthony discussed how Black entrepreneurs in the medical-technology industry are looking to fill health care gaps on Newsy on Wednesday. Click here to watch Anthony on Newsy Read Anthony’s “Black Tech Founders Want to Change the Culture of Health Care, One Click at a Time” KHN Colorado correspondent Rae Ellen Bichell […]

  • How often do health plans use “provider requirements”?

    Specialty drugs have delivered significant improvements to patient health, but oftentimes they pay be expensive. To try to insure that these treatments are used appropriately, some health plans impose a utilization management tool known as “prescriber requirements” where only certain types of physicians may prescribe a drug. While this may be useful for some complex […]

  • Matthew’s health care tidbits: Drug prices

    Each week I’ve been adding a brief tidbits section to the THCB Reader, our weekly newsletter that summarizes the best of THCB that week (Sign up here!). Then I had the brainwave to add them to the blog. They’re short and usually not too sweet! –Matthew Holt For my health care tidbits this week, I […]

  • Impact of biosimilar entry on drug costs

    While generic drugs frequently replace their branded counterparts after the latter lose their market exclusivity, the uptake of biosimilar products is often slower. Further, biosimilars are relatively more expensive compared to generic small molecule drugs. A key question then is how much could payers save by switching to biosimilars after loss of exclusivity. The is […]

  • Success of Covid Antiviral Pills Hinges on Access to Speedy and Accurate Tests

    Within a few weeks, perhaps before many Americans finish decorating for the holidays, the U.S. could have access to a new antiviral pill from Merck expected to alter the deadly trajectory of the covid-19 pandemic — with a second option from Pfizer to follow shortly after. Now under federal review, both pills are being hailed […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Boosting Confusion

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. With covid caseloads rising across much of the country, several governors and mayors are unilaterally expanding access to booster shots, getting out ahead of federal health officials. […]

  • Impact of drug coverage on mortality

    Clayton 2019 is an interesting study on the impact of drug spending on Medicaid beneficiary mortality levels. The author uses variation in the roll out of Medicaid drug coverage by state across different Medicaid eligible groups in order to isolate plausibly exogenous variation in drug expenditures. Using this approach, Clayton finds that: …a $1 increase […]

  • How Rural Communities Are Losing Their Pharmacies

    Batson’s Drug Store seems like a throwback to a simpler time. The independently owned pharmacy in Howard, Kansas, still runs an old-fashioned soda counter and hand-dips ice cream. But the drugstore, the only one in the entire county, teeters on the edge between nostalgia and extinction. Julie Perkins, pharmacist and owner of Batson’s, graduated from […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Why Health Care Is So Expensive, Chapter $22K

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Congress appears to be making progress on its huge social spending bill, but even if it passes the House as planned the week of Nov. 15, it’s […]

  • Hormone Blocker Sticker Shock — Again — As Patients Lose Cheaper Drug Option

    Sudeep Taksali thought he’d won his battle to avoid a steep price tag on a medicine for his daughter. He was wrong. In 2020, he’d fought to get insurance to cover a lower-priced version of a drug his then-8-year-old needed. She’d been diagnosed with central precocious puberty, a rare condition marked by early onset of […]

  • Do we need outcomes-based contracts for drugs?

    In the provider space, alternative payment models are increasingly common. These models aim to pay more money when providers improve quality and lower total cost and pay providers less when quality is suboptimal or total cost rise. Because there is significant uncertainty in quality of care and variability across providers, value-based purchasing is sensible in […]

  • As Overdose Deaths Soar, DEA-Wary Pharmacies Shy From Dispensing Addiction Medication

    When Martin Njoku saw opioid addiction devastate his West Virginia community, he felt compelled to help. This was the place he’d called home for three decades, where he’d raised his two girls and turned his dream of owning a pharmacy into reality. In 2016, after flooding displaced people in nearby counties, Njoku began dispensing buprenorphine […]

  • Who won from rising insulin drug prices?

    Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is PBMs, not drug manufacturers. That is one of the conclusions discussed in a recent commentary by Good and Hernandez (2021). They try to get to the bottom of this question, writing: Most explanations for increasing drug costs start with drug companies, and indeed they are an easy target. Manufacturers in […]

  • Despite Restraints, Democrats’ Drug Pricing Plan Could Still Aid Consumers

    The Medicare prescription drug pricing plan Democrats unveiled this week is not nearly as ambitious as many lawmakers sought, but they and drug policy experts say the provisions crack open the door to reforms that could have dramatic effects.  Tamping down drug expenses has been a longtime rallying cry for consumers beset by rapidly rising prices. Although people […]

  • ¿Qué sabemos realmente sobre la eficacia de las vacunas contra covid?

    La politización de las vacunas contra covid –y casi todo lo que tiene que ver con la pandemia– ha causado confusión, y fatiga total. Y algunas publicaciones que circulan en las redes sociales, por ejemplo, esta pieza hábilmente editada en YouTube, parecen aprovecharse de estos sentimientos, intentando sembrar dudas sobre la efectividad de las vacunas. […]

  • What Do We Really Know About Vaccine Effectiveness?

    The politicization of covid vaccines — and, well, just about everything else having to do with the pandemic — has led to confusion, if not utter fatigue. And some posts circulating on social media — this slickly edited piece on YouTube, for example — seem to build on these feelings, attempting to cast doubt on […]

  • Nursing Home Residents Overlooked in Scramble for Covid Antibody Treatments

    Of the dozens of patients Dr. Jim Yates has treated for covid-19 at his long-term care center in rural Alabama, this one made him especially nervous. The 60-year-old man, who had been fully vaccinated, was diagnosed with a breakthrough infection in late September. Almost immediately, he required supplemental oxygen, and lung exams showed ominous signs […]

  • Pharma Campaign Cash Delivered to Key Lawmakers With Surgical Precision

    The Biden administration and Congress are embroiled in high-stakes haggling over what urgent priorities will make it into the ever-shrinking social spending bill. But for the pharmaceutical industry there is one agenda: Heading off Medicare drug price negotiation, which it considers an existential threat to its business model. The siren call to contain rising drug […]

  • Pharma Cash to Congress

    Every year, pharmaceutical companies contribute millions of dollars to U.S. senators and representatives as part of a multipronged effort to influence health care lawmaking and spending priorities. Use this tool to explore the sizable role drugmakers play in the campaign finance system, where many industries seek to influence Congress. Discover which lawmakers rake in the […]

  • Part D Senior Savings Model: What is it?

    If you are on Medicare, how much will you pay for insulin? The answer is in the graph below (via MedPAC’s Payment Basics) Seem confusing? Well it is. Medicare Part D beneficiaries have a deductible, then the standard coverage phase with 25% cost sharing, then a coverage gap where beneficiaries pay 25% of cost (manufacturers […]

  • We Use Too Many Medications: Be Very Afraid of Interactions

    By HANS DUVEFELT I happened to read about the pharmacodynamics of parenteral versus oral furosemide when I came across a unique interaction between this commonest of diuretics and risperidone: Elderly dementia patients on risperidone have twice their expected mortality if also given furosemide. I knew that all atypical antipsychotics can double mortality in elderly dementia patients, but […]

  • Watch: Going Beyond the Script of ‘Dopesick’ and America’s Real-Life Opioid Crisis

    KHN and policy colleagues at our parent organization KFF teamed up with Hulu for a discussion of America’s opioid crisis, following the Oct. 13 premiere of the online streaming service’s new series “Dopesick.” The discussion explored how the series’ writers worked with journalist Beth Macy, author of the book “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug […]

  • The Public Backs Medicare Rx Price Negotiation Even After Hearing Both Sides’ Views

    As Congress debates cutting prescription drug costs, a poll released Tuesday found the vast majority of adults — regardless of their political party or age — support letting the federal government negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries and those in private health insurance plans. The argument that pharmaceutical companies need to charge high prices to […]

  • What the Stalemate on Capitol Hill Means for Your Drug Prices

    As President Joe Biden’s government overhaul stalls in Congress, tensions are mounting over what changes ― if any ― could come for Americans at the pharmacy counter. The proposals in flux range from tinkering with tax credits to far-reaching changes in federal payments systems. Pressure is building to contain costs that have skyrocketed over the […]

  • International Reference Pricing: Cross-country comparison

    The price of pharmaceuticals are much higher in the U.S. than in other countries. Some policymakers have claimed that international reference pricing could be used to lower the cost of drugs in the U.S. For instance, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (HR 3) proposed setting the maximum negotiated price Medicare would pay at 120% […]

  • Alzheimer’s Drug Targets People With Mild Cognitive Impairment. What Does That Mean?

    The approval of a controversial new drug for Alzheimer’s disease, Aduhelm, is shining a spotlight on mild cognitive impairment — problems with memory, attention, language or other cognitive tasks that exceed changes expected with normal aging. After initially indicating that Aduhelm could be prescribed to anyone with dementia, the Food and Drug Administration now specifies […]

  • From the FDA’s Empty Seat to Chock-Full ICUs, Journalists Recap the Week’s Stories

    KHN correspondent Rachana Pradhan discussed why President Joe Biden hasn’t yet nominated a permanent leader for the Food and Drug Administration on Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Thursday. Click here to hear Pradhan on “Morning Rush“ Read Pradhan’s “Public Health Experts ‘Flabbergasted’ That Biden Still Hasn’t Picked an FDA Chief” KHN freelancer Nick Ehli discussed Montana’s […]

  • Científicos dicen que una píldora diaria para tratar covid estaría a meses de distancia

    Un día después de dar positivo para covid-19 en junio, Miranda Kelly estaba lo suficientemente enferma como para asustarse. Con 44 años, hipertensión y diabetes, la asistente de enfermería tenía problemas para respirar, síntoma lo suficientemente grave como para terminar en la sala de emergencias. Cuando su esposo, Joe, de 46, también se enfermó con […]

  • A Daily Pill to Treat Covid Could Be Just Months Away, Scientists Say

    Within a day of testing positive for covid-19 in June, Miranda Kelly was sick enough to be scared. At 44, with diabetes and high blood pressure, Kelly, a certified nursing assistant, was having trouble breathing, symptoms serious enough to send her to the emergency room. When her husband, Joe, 46, fell ill with the virus, […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Autumn of Democrats’ Discontent

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Democrats in Congress and the White House are feverishly negotiating to pass as much of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda as they can agree on, even as […]

  • Biosimilar Drugs Are Cheaper Than Biologics. Are They Similar Enough to Switch?

    It took years for Elle Moxley to get a diagnosis that explained her crippling gastrointestinal pain, digestion problems, fatigue, and hot, red rashes. And after learning in 2016 that she had Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, she spent more than four years trying medications before getting her disease under control with […]

  • Barriers to biosimilar adoption

    When typical drugs lose their period of exclusivity, new generic competitors arrive on the market with drastically lower prices. As patients switch from brand to generic drugs, the price of treatments declines. For biologic drugs, biosimilar uptake, however, is significantly less. In part, this is because biosimilars are difficult to manufacture so the price differences […]

  • Congress Cites KHN Investigation in Probe of National Academies

    The House Committee on Oversight and Reform is requesting a ream of documents from the prestigious National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, spurred by a recent KHN investigation that revealed deep ties between pharmaceutical companies and two members of a committee that took a pharma-friendly stance in a recent report on drug waste. The […]

  • What will be the impact of adopting reference pricing in the US?

    That is the question that a recent JAMA study–Mulcahy et al. (2021)–aim to answer. The authors use IQVIA MIDAS data to estimate sales price and volume in the US. These can can be used to estimate drug wholesale acquisition cost (WAC), but they ignore rebates. To account for rebates in the US they use SSR […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Much Ado About Drug Prices

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Congressional Democrats are finding it harder to actually write legislation to lower drug prices than it is to make promises about it. But the drug price provisions of the $3.5 trillion social-spending bill […]

  • Complexities of COVID-19 manufacturing

    Getting from a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to scaling to manufacture these vaccines for billions of people is far from simple: Manufacturing mRNA vaccines for the first time in a very short timeframe required significant innovation and remains a technically challenging endeavor. The process proved to be technically challenging as Pfizer developed a 50,000 step process. […]

  • Relative importance of pharmaceuticals on health outcomes: 1990-2015

    Health outcomes have improved in the US over the last 25 years. Clearly public health initiatives (e.g., reduced smoking rates) is having an impact, but another key key question is, what is medical technologies are driving these gains? Is it new surgical techniques, better diagnostics, improved medical devices, or new pharmaceuticals? This answer is difficult […]

  • Distributional Cost Effectiveness Analysis: A simple example

    I have written previously about the need for distributional cost-effectiveness analysis (DCEA) which would increase the value of treatments who improve the health for individuals who currently have the worst expected quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE). I’ve written about this in AJMC and Health Affairs among other places. One key question many individuals may have is […]

  • CBO: Impact of price control legislation on new drug development

    It stands to reason that policies that aim to reduce drug prices or squeeze life science companies profits are likely to decrease incentives to finance the research and development needed to bring a drug to market. Previous estimates claim that bringing a new drug to market may cost over $2 billion, and life science companies […]

  • Hot Spots Where Covid Vaccination Lags Push Experimental Antibody Treatment

    For months, Joelle Ruppert was among the millions of Americans who are covid vaccine holdouts. Her reluctance, she said, was not so much that she opposed the new vaccines but that she never felt “compelled” by the evidence supporting their experimental use. Nonetheless, after she fell ill with covid last month, Ruppert, a Florida preschool […]

  • Physician Switching After Drug Request Refusal

    That is the title from a study from Lee and Bagley (2011). They examine the potential impact of direct to consumer advertising (DTCA) and the impact of physicians decisions not to prescribe a patient-preferred drug on patient retention. A total of 818 of 2,988 participants in a national telephone survey (27.4%) who had received DTCA […]

  • Biden brings plan for prescription drug pricing reform to Congress

    That is the title of an article published in Pharmaceutical Technology today. I am quoted extensively. For instance, President Biden proposes to cap drug prices at genera rates of inflation. The article highlights some limits this would pose to value-based pricing that could evolve over time: Shafrin also says while Biden’s plan to penalise companies […]

  • Lo que debes saber sobre el refuerzo de la vacuna contra covid

    La administración de Biden anunció el miércoles 18 de agosto planes para ofrecer refuerzos de la vacuna contra covid-19 a todos los adultos estadounidenses a partir del próximo mes, y dijo que los datos recientes, incluidos algunos disponibles solo en los últimos días, jugaron un papel en esa decisión. “Si esperan a que suceda algo […]

  • Rush to Boosters Sparks Confusion, Differing Recommendations

    When the Food and Drug Administration announced last week that a third dose of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine may boost the immunity of some people who are immunocompromised, officials repeated their stance that fully vaccinated, healthy people do not need another dose. With this caveat: “The FDA is actively engaged in a science-based, rigorous […]

  • Have Vaccines, Will Travel: On the Road With a Covid Entrepreneur

    VIRGINIA CITY, Mont. — While many businesses in this southwestern Montana “ghost town” reel in tourists with its mining and Wild West vigilante past, one businessman arrived offering a modern product: covid-19 vaccines. Kyle Austin, a traveling pharmacist, set up his mobile clinic in Virginia City on a recent Saturday, the latest stop on his […]

  • Pharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing: The Solution to Production of Complex Substances

    The inherent expertise of CMOs and CDMOs is believed to be capable of enabling reduction in the time-to-market a product, significant cost-benefits, as well as access to larger production capacities and novel technologies.  It is worth mentioning that there has been substantial merger and acquisition activity in the pharmaceutical contract manufacturing market in the past […]

  • Pfizer CEO to Public: Just Trust Us on the Covid Booster

    Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was confident in June about the ability of his company’s vaccine to protect against the highly contagious delta variant, as it marched across the globe and filled U.S. hospitals with patients. “I feel quite comfortable that we cover it,” Bourla said. Just weeks later, Pfizer said it would seek authorization for […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Senate Acts

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Senate has set the stage for a busy fall that will include debate on a broad array of health issues, such as prescription drug prices, Medicare […]

  • FDA: Why we approved Prograf based on real-world data

    Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Prograf (tacrolimus) in combination with other immunosuppressant drugs for the new indication of preventing organ rejection for patients who have received a lung transplant. While the FDA approving a new indication isn’t typically news, this is a noteworthy event because (i) it marks the first approval of […]

  • Biosimilar use in France

    Like generic drugs for small molecules, biosimilars offer the hope for reducing drug prices after biologic therapies lose their patent protections. But how big an impact do biosimilars have and how comfortable are physicians with using these substitute products? A paper by Robinson and Jarrion (2021) use data from France as a case study to […]

  • Pharmacies Face Extra Audit Burdens That Threaten Their Existence

    The clock was about to strike midnight, and Scott Newman was desperately feeding pages into a scanner, trying to prevent thousands of dollars in prescription payments from turning into a pumpkin. As the owner of Newman Family Pharmacy, an independent drugstore in Chesapeake, Virginia, he was responding to an audit ordered by a pharmacy benefit […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta Blues

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The U.S. is experiencing another surge of covid-19, particularly in Southern states where vaccination rates are generally lower than in other regions. But partisan fights rage on […]

  • 2+2=? Senate Uses Murky Math as It Shelves Drug Pricing Rule to Fund Infrastructure

    The Senate’s release of its bipartisan infrastructure plan signals that lawmakers are poised to throw former President Donald Trump’s belated bid to lower Medicare drug prices under the bus — not to mention trains, bridges, tunnels and broadband connections. That’s because the massive spending bill is the first of two likely to at least delay […]

  • Diabetes Drug’s New Weight Loss Formula Fuels Cost-Benefit Debate

    The long list of side effects that follow ads for the newer expensive drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes sometimes include an unusual warning: They might cause weight loss. That side effect is one that many people — especially those with Type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity — may desperately want. So it’s […]

  • Pfizer Court Fight Could Legalize Medicare Copays and Unleash ‘Gold Rush’ in Sales

    Three years ago, pharma giant Pfizer paid $24 million to settle federal allegations that it was paying kickbacks and inflating sales by reimbursing Medicare patients for out-of-pocket medication costs. By making prohibitively expensive medicine essentially free for patients, the company induced them to use Pfizer drugs even as the price of one of those medicines, […]

  • As Holdout Missouri Joins Nation in Monitoring Opioid Prescriptions, Experts Worry

    Kathi Arbini said she felt elated when Missouri finally caught up to the other 49 states and approved a statewide prescription drug monitoring program this June in an attempt to curb opioid addiction. The hairstylist turned activist estimated she made 75 two-hour trips in the past decade from her home in Fenton, a St. Louis […]

  • Journalists Dig in on Delta Variant Risks and Opioid Overdose Deaths

    KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber discussed outbreaks caused by the covid-19 delta variant in Missouri and elsewhere on Newsy on Thursday. Click here to watch Weber on Newsy Read Weber’s “The Delta Variant Thrives in a State of Political and Public Health Discord“ KHN correspondent Aneri Pattani discussed opioids and the rise in overdose deaths […]

  • Integrated Delivery Network-based Specialty Pharmacies

    Increasingly, integrated delivery networks (IDNs) are creating their own full-blown specialty pharmacies. Many are familiar with the integrated payer-provider model from groups such as Kaiser Permanente. However, other IDNs are getting into the game according to a recent white paper. Why are IDNs considering creating their own specialty pharmacies? Address patient access concerns. The number […]

  • Analysis: Necessary or Not, Covid Booster Shots Are Probably on the Horizon

    The drugmaker Pfizer recently announced that vaccinated people are likely to need a booster shot to be effectively protected against new variants of covid-19 and that the company would apply for Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for the shot. Top government health officials immediately and emphatically announced that the booster isn’t needed right […]

  • Sen. Wyden: $3.5T Budget May Have to Trim but It Can Set a Path to ‘Ambitious Goals’

    Exactly what American health care will look like if Democrats can pass their $3.5 trillion spending plan is unclear, but the senator negotiating its health-related provisions hopes what emerges will be dramatic: the first complete health care system for older Americans and significantly reduced costs for everyone else. “We are setting very, very ambitious goals,” […]

  • Public-Private partnership in biologic drug development

    A paper from Nayak et al. (2021) in JAMA Internal Medicine describes how public-private partnerships have helped bring new biologic drugs to market. Using data on new biologic drugs approved by the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Reseach (CDER) and US patent office data, the authors find that: Twenty-nine drugs (42%) showed evidence of […]

  • Biden’s July Executive Order Includes Drug Pricing Provisions. But Will They Do Enough?

    President Joe Biden’s executive order of July 9 included various steps toward making good on campaign promises to take on pharmaceutical companies by allowing the importation of prescription drugs and curbing the high cost of medicines. These issues were key to candidate Biden’s 2020 health care platform, which stated he would “stand up to abuse […]

  • Journalists’ Topics Range From Rural Pharmacy Deserts to Opioid Overdoses

    KHN senior Colorado correspondent Markian Hawryluk discussed how a rural Colorado town is crowdsourcing ways to get prescription medicines delivered on KUNC’s “Colorado Edition” on Monday. Click here to hear Hawryluk on KUNC Read Hawryluk’s “How One Rural Town Without a Pharmacy Is Crowdsourcing to Get Meds“ KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal discussed how medical education […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Here Comes Reconciliation

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The expansion of health benefits is a major piece of the tentative budget deal reached this week by Democrats in Congress. They plan to press ahead — […]

  • Senate Democrats’ Plan Boosts Spending on Medicare, ACA Subsidies, Long-Term Care

    The budget package Democrats are assembling in Congress would likely provide the biggest jolt to the American health care system since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, according to sources familiar with work on the plan. Democrats in the Senate announced Tuesday night that they had reached a framework for a $3.5 […]

  • Dying Patients With Rare Diseases Struggle to Get Experimental Therapies

    At 15, Autumn Fuernisen is dying. She was diagnosed at age 11 with a rare degenerative brain disorder that has no known cure or way to slow it down: juvenile-onset Huntington’s disease. “There’s lots of things that she used to be able to do just fine,” said her mom, Londen Tabor, who lives with her […]

  • As Congress Wrestles With Plans to Expand Medicare, Becerra Says Any One Will Do

    The Biden administration will support whatever expansions to Medicare Congress is willing to make, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Tuesday. Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working on plans both to add benefits to the health program for seniors and to lower its eligibility age from 65 to 60. But the efforts […]

  • Why We May Never Know Whether the $56,000-a-Year Alzheimer’s Drug Actually Works

    The Food and Drug Administration’s approval in June of a drug purporting to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease was widely celebrated, but it also touched off alarms. There were worries in the scientific community about the drug’s mixed results in studies — the FDA’s own expert advisory panel was nearly unanimous in opposing its […]

  • Doctores sopesan pros y contras de recetar la nueva droga para el Alzheimer

    Mientras médicos y expertos en políticas de salud debaten los méritos de Aduhelm, el primer fármaco para el Alzheimer aprobado en 18 años, los pacientes simplemente quieren saber: “¿me ayudará?”. Los médicos no tienen una respuesta definitiva. “En cada persona, será absolutamente imposible de predecir”, dijo el doctor Allan Levey, director del Centro de Investigación […]

  • Doctors Weigh Pros and Cons of Prescribing Hot-Button Alzheimer’s Drug

    As physicians and health policy experts debate the merits of Aduhelm, the first new drug for Alzheimer’s disease approved in 18 years, patients want to know: “Will this medication help me — and how much?” Doctors explaining the pros and cons of Aduhelm won’t have a definitive answer. “On an individual basis, it will be […]

  • Drugmakers’ Spending on Stock, Dividends and Executive Pay Exceeds Research, Democrats Say

    The largest drug companies are far more interested in enriching themselves and investors than in developing new drugs, according to a House committee report released Thursday that argues the industry can afford to charge Medicare less for prescriptions. The report by the House Oversight and Reform Committee says that contrary to pharmaceutical industry arguments that […]

  • Paying Billions for Controversial Alzheimer’s Drug? How About Funding This Instead?

    If you could invest $56 billion each year in improving health care for older adults, how would you spend it? On a hugely expensive medication with questionable efficacy — or something else? This isn’t an abstract question. Aduhelm, a new Alzheimer’s drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration last month, could be prescribed to […]

  • New Research Finds J&J Vaccine Has Muscle Against Covid’s Delta Variant

    In the past two weeks, many medical experts started to question whether the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is administered in a single dose, would be as effective as the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine in protecting against the new, highly transmissible delta variant that is poised to become the dominant strain in the U.S. […]

  • California Lawmakers Push Feds to Allow a Therapy That Pays Meth Users to Abstain

    In his multiple attempts to overcome a methamphetamine addiction that ground through two decades of his life, Tyrone Clifford Jr. remembers well the closest he came. “The most success I had,” he said, “is when my dealer was in jail.” Then Clifford walked into a rehab clinic in San Francisco called PROP, the Positive Reinforcement […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Un-Trumping the ACA

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Biden administration this week proposed a series of changes aimed at boosting insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, undoing changes made by the Trump administration […]

  • How One Rural Town Without a Pharmacy Is Crowdsourcing to Get Meds

    WALDEN, Colo. — The building that once housed the last drugstore in this town of fewer than 600 is now a barbecue restaurant, where pit boss Larry Holtman dishes out smoked brisket and pulled pork across the same counter where pharmacists dispensed vital medications more than 30 years ago. It’s an hourlong drive over treacherous […]

  • How easy is it for patients to access cell and gene therapies in Europe?

    Cell and gene therapies have the potential to produce dramatic improvements in quality of life and survival for severe and often rare diseases. Currently, however, the cost of these treatments is high and access is sometimes limited. To identify some of these challenges in Europe EURODIS conducted an evaluation of country-specific challenges with respect to […]

  • States Step Up Push to Regulate Pharmacy Drug Brokers

    Under pressure to rein in skyrocketing prescription drug costs, states are targeting companies that serve as conduits for drug manufacturers, health insurers and pharmacies. More than 100 separate bills regulating those companies, known as pharmacy benefit managers, have been introduced in 42 states this year, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy, which […]

  • Do most Medicare Part D drugs have CEA studies?

    That is the question that a recent study by Tisdale et al. (2021) aim to answer. They first look at the top 250 Medicare Part D drugs in terms 2016 total spending based on the 2016 Medicare Part D Prescriber Public Use File. Drug characteristics were identified from the 2016 FDA Orange Book. The authors […]

  • GAO report on prescription drug advertising

    Medicare beneficiaries are largely elderly individuals, many of whom suffer from a variety of health conditions. Pharmaceutical manufacturers want these patients and their physicians to be aware of new medical treatments that become available (i.e., new approvals) as well as new uses for existing drugs (i.e., new FDA indications). Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) is one way […]

  • Device Makers Have Funneled Billions to Orthopedic Surgeons Who Use Their Products

    Dr. Kingsley R. Chin was little more than a decade out of Harvard Medical School when sales of his spine surgical implants took off. Chin has patented more than 40 pieces of such hardware, including doughnut-shaped plastic cages, titanium screws and other products used to repair spines — generating $100 million for his company SpineFrontier, […]

  • Rebates and out-of-pocket cost

    In recent decades, drug prices have risen. To offset this cost, pharmacy benefit managers have negotiated increasingly large rebates which drug manufacturers pay health insurers. PBMs argue that rebates help keep net drug prices down. Manufacturers argue that PBMs want higher list prices so they can negotiate larger rebates. Patients may not like rebates if […]

  • Bagging it

    How do you get your prescription drugs? For most people, it involves going to your local pharmacy and picking up your pills. But what if the drugs you needs are infused treatments that have to be administered at a physician’s office? Typically, you just show up at a physician’s office and it’ll be ready for […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Our 200th Episode!

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Food and Drug Administration found itself in the hot seat this week when it approved a controversial new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease with scant evidence […]

  • Change to Gilead Assistance Program Threatens PrEP Access, HIV Advocates Say

    Dr. John Carlo is concerned that patients at Prism Health North Texas who rely on the health care safety net will soon be struggling even more to stay on PrEP, a medication that prevents HIV transmission. Carlo, chief executive officer of the clinic, which runs three locations in Dallas, offers free PrEP to roughly 250 […]

  • FDA Weighs Approval of a Lucrative Alzheimer’s Drug but Benefits Are Iffy

    The Food and Drug Administration’s decision next week whether to approve the first treatment for Alzheimer’s disease highlights a deep division over the drug’s benefits as well as criticism about the integrity of the FDA approval process. This story also ran on The Daily Beast. It can be republished for free. The agency said it […]

  • Biden Administration Signals It’s in No Rush to Allow Canadian Drug Imports

    Use Our Content It can be republished for free. The Biden administration said Friday it has no timeline on whether it will allow states to import drugs from Canada, an effort that was approved under President Donald Trump as a key strategy to control costs.  Six states have passed laws to start such programs, and Florida, Colorado and New Mexico are the furthest along in plans to get federal approval.    The […]

  • Opioids like ‘Lean’ Permeate Hip-Hop Culture, but Dangers Are Downplayed

    Nykerrius Williams knows about the close relationship between hip-hop and opioid use. Williams, 27, an independent rapper from Gibsland, Louisiana, who goes by the name Young Nyke, took oxycodone pills for the first time when he was 16 and has continued patterns of misuse of those pills, as well as Lortabs, Xanax and codeine cough […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Return of the Public Option

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The “public option” is back — both in Washington, D.C., and the states. President Joe Biden as a candidate supported the idea of a government-run or heavily regulated insurance […]

  • Colorado Lawmakers Wage Multifront Assault on High Drug Costs

    DENVER — Tired of waiting for federal action to reduce prescription drug costs, Colorado is acting on its own — even if it must do so with one arm tied behind its back. Unable to set prices or change patent protections, the state is exploring creative legislative and administrative approaches to lower out-of-pocket costs on […]

  • KHN Journalists Comment on Abortion Case, Wasted Covid Doses

    KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a challenge in an abortion case from Mississippi on Newsy on Tuesday. Click here to watch Rovner on Newsy KHN freelancer Sara Reardon discussed allegations by a rail company that a clinic in Libby, Montana, is defrauding Medicare by overdiagnosing asbestos-related diseases on […]

  • Are drug prices higher in the US than in other countries?

    Conventional wisdom holds that the prices of pharmaceuticals are higher in the US than in other countries. But is that really the case? And if so, by how much? Which price? The question we need to answer is “which price” do you mean? There is the manufacturer wholesale price (i.e., gross price) which is how […]

  • Is drug competition bad for patients?

    In general, you would think the answer is no. If there are multiple treatments available, patients have more choice. Further, the treatments may need to compete with one another which may lead to lower prices. One issue with drug prices is that the the list (a.k.a. gross) price affects patient cost-sharing, but the net price […]

  • “Mr. Biden is wrong”

    That was the conclusion of The Economist on his decision to suspend intellectual property protections for the makers of COVID-19 vaccines. In the article “Ten million reasons to vaccinate the world“, they write: Many experts argue that, because some manufacturing capacity is going begging, millions more doses might become available if patent-owners shared their secrets, […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Drug Price Effort Hits a Snag

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The high cost of prescription drugs is a top health issue for the public and politicians, but concerns raised by a group of moderate Democrats threaten to derail a bill being pushed by House Democratic leaders. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the […]

  • From Covid Coverage to ‘Public Option’ Plans, Journalists Delve Into Details

    KHN senior correspondent Julie Appleby discussed changes in insurance coverage for covid-19 care on Newsy on Thursday. Click here to watch Appleby on Newsy Read Appleby’s “Time to Say Goodbye to Some Insurers’ Waivers for Covid Treatment Fees” KHN senior correspondent Mary Agnes Carey discussed Connecticut’s legislative efforts to pass a “public option” insurance plan […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Sharing Vaccines With the World

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The Biden administration — keeping a campaign promise — announced it would back a temporary waiver of patent protections for the covid-19 vaccines, arousing the ire of the drug industry. The administration is also picking a fight with tobacco companies, as the Food and Drug […]

  • Are prices for diabetes drugs rising or falling?

    Conventional wisdom would hold that the prices are rising…aren’t they? To correctly answer this question, one must define which prices you are talking about. Are we looking at the list price that is widely available or the net price after we take into account discounts are rebates life sciences firms pay? A paper by Sarpatwari […]

  • Covid Shot in the Arm Not Enough to Keep Pharmacies in Business

    Tobin’s pharmacy and department store had already stocked its shelves with Easter and Mother’s Day items last spring, and the staff had just placed the Christmas orders. The shop in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, had been operating on a razor’s edge as retail sales moved online and mail-order pharmacies siphoned off its patients. It was losing money […]

  • Democrats Disagree About How to Spend Potential Prescription Drug Windfall

    One of the few surprises in President Joe Biden’s social safety-net proposal, the American Families Plan, was something that didn’t make it into the final version: any mention of reining in the price of prescription drugs. Use Our Content It can be republished for free. The American Families Plan, the second part of Biden’s expansive […]

  • CVS and Walgreens Have Wasted More Vaccine Doses Than Most States Combined

    Two national pharmacy chains that the federal government entrusted to inoculate people against covid-19 account for the lion’s share of wasted vaccine doses, according to government data obtained by KHN. This story also ran on NBC News. It can be republished for free. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 182,874 wasted doses as […]

  • Detecting Rare Blood Clots Was a Win, But US Vaccine Safety System Still Has Gaps

    The quick detection of an ultra-rare blood clotting reaction in some covid-19 vaccine recipients showed the power of a federal warning system for vaccine safety issues, but experts worry that blind spots in the program could hamper detection of other unexpected side effects. This story also ran on NBC News. It can be republished for […]

  • Journalists Track Biden’s First 100 Days

    Chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed Biden’s first 100 days on WAMU/NPR’s “1A” on Wednesday. She also joined Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Central Time” to talk about why hospitals aren’t cooperating with price transparency requirements. Click here to hear Rovner on WAMU/NPR Read Rovner’s “The Great Undoing: Which of Trump’s Policies Will Biden Reverse?” Click here […]

  • Addiction Treatment Providers in Pa. Face Little State Scrutiny Despite Harm to Clients

    This investigation is a joint project of KHN, a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues, and Spotlight PA, an independent, collaborative newsroom dedicated to producing investigative journalism for all of Pennsylvania. This story also ran on Spotlight PA. It can be republished for free. When Ian Kalinowski was at work, his mom usually texted […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: 100 Days of Health Policy

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. It’s been a busy 100 days for the Biden administration on health policy. The promise Joe Biden made as president-elect to get 100 million covid vaccinations in arms was doubled, reopened to those without insurance, and steps were taken to undo a raft of […]

  • International Reference Pricing: List vs. Net Pricing issues

    Leah Rand and Aaron Kesselheim have an interesting commentary in Value in Health reviewing some of the challenges of implementing international reference pricing (IRP) in the U.S. IRP would set drug prices in the U.S. as no higher than a basket of drug prices in other developed countries. This issue is of particular interest due […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Picking Up the Pace of Undoing Trump Policies

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The Biden administration is speeding up the pace of efforts to undo Trump administration health policies. The two most recent: overturning a ban on fetal tissue research funded by the National Institutes of Health and canceling a last-minute extension of a Medicaid waiver for Texas. […]

  • Strides Against HIV/AIDS Falter, Especially in the South, as Nation Battles Covid

    Facing a yearlong siege from the coronavirus, the defenses in another, older war are faltering. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. For the last two decades, HIV/AIDS has been held at bay by potent antiviral drugs, aggressive testing and inventive public education campaigns. But the COVID-19 pandemic has caused […]

  • The impact of filling the donut hole

    Medicare Part D has a confusing benefit system. Prior to 2011, patients had a deductible, then a general coverage benefit (with 25% coinsurance) then a donut hole (with no coverage) and then catastrophic insurance (with a 5%) copayment. When the Affordable Care Act passed, it aimed to fill the donut hole. Beginning in 2011, Part […]

  • The Shock and Reality of Catching Covid After Being Vaccinated

    Robin Hauser, a pediatrician in Tampa, Fla., got covid in February. What separates her from the vast majority of the tens of millions of other Americans who have come down with the virus is this: She got sick seven weeks after her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Use Our Content It can be republished […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Pause and Effect on Covid Vaccines

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The effort to vaccinate Americans against covid-19 took a hit this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration jointly called for a pause in use of the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson while experts try to figure […]

  • Average cost to bring a drug to market is over $1 billion

    The cost to bring a drug to market is a hotly debated topic. The costs include not only the costs for basic science and clinical trials. However, one must also take into account the cost of capital (since most cost are incurred up front, but revenue begins only after drug approval) and the likelihood of […]

  • The FDA Seeks a New Way to Review Old Drugs Without Causing Prices to Soar

    Chuck Peterson of Omaha, Nebraska, recently experienced a swollen, painful knuckle caused by arthritis. He got a prescription for colchicine. Doctors have used the drug for treating gout and other rheumatic conditions for well over two centuries. When Peterson went to the pharmacy, he was shocked to discover that a two-month supply of 120 pills, […]

  • Is value in the eye of the beholder? Value frameworks and inter-rater reliability

    A new drug comes on the market. Is the health benefit worth the cost? What is it’s value? Value assessment frameworks are one way to answer this question. Value frameworks take the evidence of the treatments benefits, risk and cost and output some notion of the treatment’s value. Ideally, if anyone applied a given value […]

  • Cuatro respuestas sobre el freno a la vacuna contra covid de Johnson & Johnson

    Cuatro meses después del lanzamiento del plan de inmunización masiva más grande del país en décadas, ha quedado claro que los mensajes que rodean los esfuerzos de vacunación contra covid-19 son tan importantes como la ciencia que los respalda. Se observó cuando se comenzaron a usar las primeras vacunas en diciembre en hospitales y hogares […]

  • 4 Things to Know About the J&J Covid Vaccine Pause

    Four months into the largest U.S. vaccine rollout in decades, it’s become clear that the messaging surrounding covid-19 vaccination efforts is as important as the science behind them. That was true when the first covid vaccines were introduced in December at hospitals and nursing homes and even more so after the federal government on Tuesday […]

  • Highlights from MedPAC’s Spring 2021 Report

    Here are a few highlight’s from the March 2021 report on Medicare Payment Policy from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). Leading causes of death The leading cause of death are heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disease. Note that these figures are from 2018. MedPAC notes that the 3rd leading cause of death in 2020 […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Planning for Round Two

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Congress is out of session, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from planning their next round of health legislation. Together with President Joe Biden, they are looking at a broad array of possibilities, from allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices to adding more benefits to the […]

  • Covid Vaccine Hesitancy Drops Among All Americans, New Survey Shows

    A new poll of attitudes toward covid vaccinations shows Americans are growing more enthusiastic about being vaccinated, with the most positive change in the past month occurring among Black Americans. Use Our Content It can be republished for free. About 55% of Black adults said they had been vaccinated or plan to be soon, up […]

  • Ask KHN-PolitiFact: How Can Covid Vaccines Be Safe When They Were Developed So Fast?

    The development of the first covid vaccines may have seemed to occur at a dizzying pace. After all, scientists identified a new virus and created vaccines to protect against its most severe effects within a year. This story also ran on PolitiFact. It can be republished for free. But the research underpinning these vaccines isn’t […]

  • Medicamentos ya conocidos, y baratos, podrían ser clave para tratar covid

    ¿Podría un antidepresivo que se usa desde hace décadas ser un arma secreta contra covid? Algunos científicos creen que sí, después de que dos pequeños estudios demostraran que la fluvoxamina, que se suele recetar para el trastorno obsesivo compulsivo (TOC), evitara que los participantes desarrollaran una forma grave de la enfermedad. Sería algo impresionante. Un […]

  • Scientists Seek Covid Treatment Answers in Cheap, Older Drugs

    Could a decades-old antidepressant be a secret weapon against covid? A few scientists think so, after two small studies showed that fluvoxamine, typically prescribed for obsessive-compulsive disorder, prevented serious illness in all participants who took the pills soon after developing symptoms. This story also ran on San Francisco Chronicle. It can be republished for free. […]

  • The Great Undoing: Which of Trump’s Policies Will Biden Reverse?

    KHN has put together an interactive tool of significant health policies implemented by the Trump administration using its own authority — executive orders, agency guidance or formal regulations — and is tracking Biden administration and court actions. We will update this chart as actions are taken. Topics: Affordable Care Act | HHS Operations | Immigration […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Getting Down to Work at HHS

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. As questions swirl about the covid vaccine made by AstraZeneca, public health experts are worried the confusion could create more doubts among people already hesitant to get a vaccine. Meanwhile, the first Senate-confirmed officials are settling into their offices at the Department of Health and […]

  • Democrats Eye Medicare Negotiations to Lower Drug Prices

    Democrats, newly in control of Congress and the White House, are united behind an idea that Republican lawmakers and major drugmakers fiercely oppose: empowering the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate the prices of brand-name drugs covered by Medicare. This story also ran on Fortune. It can be republished for free. But they […]

  • The Case for Donating US Covid Vaccines Overseas

    A Senate committee grilled federal officials about the shortage of vaccines to protect Americans against a pandemic virus. Two months later, the U.S. public had lost interest in the virus, and millions of vaccines were sitting in warehouses — although poor countries still needed them. Use Our Content It can be republished for free. This […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: ACA Packs More Benefits — And More Confusion

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The covid relief bill signed by President Joe Biden a week ago includes billions of dollars in new health benefits for consumers. But those benefits may be hard for people to take advantage of because of the interaction with the income tax system and the […]

  • ‘Super-Sized’ Vaccine Clinic Offers Food Workers Some Relief

    LONG BEACH, Calif. — Cristina Davila wasn’t used to being happy about waiting in line. As a server at the Navy Proof Restaurant and Bar, the specter of covid has weighed heavily on her mind for the past several months. Davila has been especially worried about the possibility of bringing the virus home to her […]

  • What is the FTC’s stance on pharmaceutical mergers?

    The answer to this question likely will be shaped in part by a new multilateral working group that will include not only representatives from the U.S. (U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, and Offices of State Attorneys General), but also Canada (Canadian Competition Bureau), Europe (the European Commission Directorate General for Competition) and the United […]