Author: Pacific Research Institute

Opioids: Bad Science, Bad Policy, Bad Outcomes By Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and Josh Bloom There’s an old joke about the drunk who’s hunting for his lost keys under the lamppost, not because he thinks they’re there, but because the light is good. Well, that’s what the feds and state governments are doing to try to quell the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses. The problem is quite real, but legislators and regulators are making incorrect assumptions and adopting flawed strategies. And...

Report: Growing biosimilar market could save billions in health spending by Paige Minemyer Growing the biosimilar market could lead to significant healthcare cost savings, according to a new report, with the opportunity for billions in cost reductions. An analysis (PDF) from the Pacific Research Institute, a free market think tank, shows today the limited biosimilar market share saved about $253.8 million per year in spending. If biosimilars gained a 25% market share, those savings would increase to $2.5 billion, they said. If the market share increased further,...

Biosimilars Struggle to Gain Market Share in the U.S., Analysis Shows By Alex Keown Over the past several years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a number of biosimilar medications, therapies that have similar properties to a branded drug, but are different in composition, which differentiates them from generic drugs. The approval of biosimilar treatments has been supported at the highest levels as a means to increase competition in the market and help regulate some of the high costs of prescription...

A new poll from the California-based nonpartisan think tank, the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), shows that Americans overwhelmingly support innovative gene therapies, which change the focus of medicine from treating illnesses to curing illnesses. Click here to read the top-line results of PRI’s poll on gene therapies “Gene therapies have the potential to cure a wide array of difficult-to-treat diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease, autism, cystic fibrosis, HIV, and cancer, among others” said Dr. Wayne Winegarden, director of PRI’s Center for Medical Economics...

Why People with Diabetes Drive for Hours to Buy Insulin in Canada By Christopher Curley For Lija Greenseid, the math was simple. Drive a few hours to pay $56 for a box of Humalog insulin pens for her young daughter with type 1 diabetes or pay as much as $230 at home. The decision, in fact, was a no-brainer for Greenseid and a group of diabetes advocates and patients who made the trek from Minnesota to Canada to buy insulin in early May. That trip...

SAN FRANCISCO – California-based nonpartisan think tank the Pacific Research Institute today announced the launch of a new Center for Medical Economics and Innovation, which will research and advance policies showing how a thriving biomedical and pharmaceutical sector benefits both patients and economic growth. Timely research, analysis and commentary relating to medical innovation will be available at the new Center’s website - www.medecon.org. “Medical innovation is important to alleviating deadly diseases and helping Americans live long and healthy lives, and it’s also...

Gene therapies have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of millions of Americans living with life-threatening diseases. Watch the video to learn how policy obstacles are standing in the way of making gene therapies a reality for millions. [vc_video link="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCW-E9i_jP8"]...

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Congress is poised to consider a bill that would allow Americans to import prescription drugs from Canada. The bill’s authors, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), label their effort as a bipartisan push to “help Americans who struggle to pay exorbitant prices for medication.” It’s noble of lawmakers to tackle prescription drug costs. Eight in ten Americans are concerned about the price of medicines, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. But the Grassley-Klobuchar bill isn’t the right solution. While it...

By Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and Jeff Stier Trump administration officials keep searching for solutions to rising prescription drug prices, which are increasing faster than inflation. "Drug makers and companies are not living up to their commitments on pricing. Not being fair to the consumer, or to our Country!" President Trump tweeted on Jan. 5. Most of the administration's suggested remedies have been threats or the imposition of various types of price controls. On Thursday, Jan. 31, Department of Health and...

By Mia Zaharna, MD and Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. Insomnia is a common and often frustrating sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. It can adversely affect your health, work performance, and quality of life. It can also be hard to treat, even by experts — but help, in the form of technology, is on the way. Although...

Too often, drug pricing analyses do not shed light on how much drug expenditures are actually increasing because these studies examine the wrong price. The latest iteration is an analysis by Rx Savings Solutions. According to the Wall Street Journal, Rx Savings Solutions documented that dozens of drug makers raised the list prices on hundreds of medicines for 2019. The average list price increase was 6.3%. Based on these findings, many people might reasonably conclude that patients will be paying more for...

On Dec. 18, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced the Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act. The bill would create an Office of Drug Manufacturing to produce and sell generic medications. Warren hopes this government entity would solve "market failures" — her term for generic drug shortages and steep price hikes on off-patent medicines. The plan is absurd. The federal government has no business operating a drug manufacturer. If federal officials want to expand access to generic drugs (a worthy goal) they should harness the power of free markets. Within...

Despite the constant barrage of negative news, this is an exciting time for patients. Truly innovative medicines and gene therapies are under development. New gene therapies are particularly exciting because these therapies do not just treat diseases – they often cure them by fixing underlying genetic defects, frequently with only one dose. There is great optimism that these fundamentally new therapies will, ultimately, cure diseases like hemophilia and sickle cell disease, and even many ultra-rare diseases that were previously untreatable. Take...

Government solutions often come with a price. For the America Invents Act (AIA), this price was an unintended impediment to medical innovation. Proposed legislation known as the Hatch-Waxman Integrity Act can reduce these costs, if Congress takes advantage of the opportunity. The problem of patent trolls plaguing Silicon Valley was a well-documented, and troubling, problem. Patent trolls are entities that obtain patents, often obscure patents, for the sole purpose of filing lawsuits in court. The troll then uses the threat of...

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., recently proposed bills that would impose price controls on prescription drugs. The legislation would require pharmaceutical companies to sell their medicines in the United States for no more than the median price charged in five countries – Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan. If companies refuse to cut prices in the United States, the federal government could revoke existing patents or market exclusivities and allow generic drug manufacturers to sell knockoff copies...