Author: Pacific Research Institute

SACRAMENTO – A new brief released today by the Center for Medical Economics and Innovation at the nonpartisan Pacific Research Institute analyzes a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study cited by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) to justify drug price controls, finding it was deeply flawed and would put patients at risk of losing access to cutting-edge medications if implemented. Click to download “Sen. Sanders uses a flawed analysis to promote price controls on innovative drugs, which would  jeopardize the health...

By Sally Pipes & Wayne Winegarden  Question: What’s worse than government bureaucrats in Washington declaring the value of your medicine? Answer: Bureaucrats from Boston, London, Ottawa and Diemen establishing that value. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. It is the direction that the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review is pushing our healthcare system. ICER is a Boston-based private organization that has granted itself the right to declare how much a new medicine is worth to you. This is as troubling as it...

By Sally Pipes & Wayne Winegarden There they go again. Free-market advocates are jeopardizing pro-market healthcare reforms based on an inability to recognize how cronyism tars the current industry dynamics. That distinction between companies operating in a free market and companies using cronyism to flourish in a government-dominated market is the key. At question are the operations of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). PBMs serve large insurers, employer-sponsored health plans, and government health plans. The three largest PBMs control nearly 80% of the...

The pharmaceutical supply chain is rife with misaligned incentives. Due to these disincentives, policies that make sense under most market conditions create problems that harm patients. Coupling the fees of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to the discounts they negotiate exemplifies this problem. Read the full article by Sally Pipes and Wayne Winegarden at Forbes.com...

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are examining how industry middlemen known as Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are driving up healthcare costs. Rightly so. PBMs have been manipulating the complex and opaque drug pricing system at the expense of patients for far too long and Congress must act. Read the full article by Sally Pipes and Wayne Winegarden at RealClearHealth...

Watch as the Professor buys a bike for Penny to show how the broken health care payment system hurts Medicare patients. They explore that by creating a support program based on income, we can help Medicare patients buy private insurance instead of being stuck with poor government care. READ THE STUDY   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvlwyvVGcNY...

Watch as Penny is unhappy that she has to enter the geography bee instead of the science fair due to bureaucratic rules at school. The Professor explores how, much in the same way, eliminating unnecessary barriers can produce a more efficient and productive health care system. To learn more, read the Coverage Denied series at www.medecon.org   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmLoJWQ935M...

A group of 25 senators, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), requested that HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra exercise march-in rights for Xtandi (enzalutamide), a prostate cancer therapeutic. March-in rights give the government the right to take a license for itself if it helped to fund the product owner's research . . . “Net prices, which take into account discounts and rebates, have been going down for several years,” Wayne Winegarden, Ph.D., senior fellow, business and economics, Pacific Research Institute, told BioSpace. “Gross...

By Henry Miller & Stanley Young Are you confused about conflicting “research” findings on certain foods’ effects on our health? It would hardly be surprising. First, butter is the enemy; then, it’s solid margarine. Is caffeine good or bad for your heart? For a time, beta-carotene supplements are thought to prevent cancer — until they are found to increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers. And finally, does a woman’s diet at conception determine the sex of her fetus? When you do a...

By Henry Miller and Josh Bloom President Biden’s bout with COVID-19 is illustrative of the debate currently raging about “Paxlovid rebound” — the recurrence of symptoms and of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 after a seemingly successful five-day treatment course of Paxlovid. This phenomenon is not unusual, and it suggests that regulators should modify the terms of the drug’s Emergency Use Authorization. When he headed the Food & Drug Administration, Dr. Frank Young used to admonish his minions that sometimes regulations need to...

By Henry I. Miller and Josh Bloom Decades ago, a case report (relating the experience with a single patient) was published which described how a person’s flu symptoms improved after a bowl of chicken soup, but then reappeared. The article was meant as a kind of parody of the old maxim that chicken soup is the best cure for a cold. Pediatricians occasionally see a similar phenomenon when children are treated with an antibiotic for an ear infection; they may then...

By Henry I. Miller and Jeff Stier The two-years-plus of the COVID-19 pandemic should be a wakeup call that there is something very wrong – irreparable, even – at the chronically inept World Health Organization (WHO). Two recent transgressions show that the bureaucrats there are not getting any smarter. The first is almost inconceivable. Medicago, a Canadian company, developed a COVID-19 vaccine synthesized in the Nicotiniana plant, a relative of tobacco. In clinical testing, it showed efficacy against all variants studied prior to the emergence of Omicron of 71%, and for...

By Henry Miller and Melissa Hart We're learning more every day about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but it will likely present surprises. The best strategy is still to prevent new infections. Donald Rumsfeld, the two-time secretary of defense (Gerald Ford and George W. Bush administrations), is perhaps best remembered for a response he gave to a question during a 2002 news conference: As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is...

Watch PRI’s Wayne Winegarden, director of our Center for Medical Economics and Innovation, discuss efforts by the Federal Trade Commission to considering ordering large pharmacy benefits managers to study the competitive impact of contractual provisions, reimbursement adjustments, and other practices affecting drug prices on Scripps National News. https://youtu.be/DQsjKM44ScQ...

By Henry Miller and Kathleen Hefferon Much of the world is preoccupied with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but there are other global challenges, including climate change, food security, and degradation of the environment. Interestingly, and perhaps ironically, there is some good news regarding the latter three from a recent breakthrough in microbiology.   Plants depend upon beneficial interactions between roots and root-associated microorganisms for growth promotion, disease suppression, and nutrient availability. Crops require nitrogen to grow, and although there is an abundance of...