Author: Pacific Research Institute

The Professor and Pete must collect 3 keys to finally escape the drug pricing maze.  The first key involves reforms to increase drug affordability for patients who buy their drugs at a pharmacy.  The Professor shows Pete that these reforms should ensure that prices are transparent, easy to understand, and help patients benefit from the large discounts that are being paid....

Title: Trump's proposed executive orders on drug pricing may hinder R&D and drug development Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor, Health Care Finance Recently, President Trump proposed four different executive orders aimed at lowering drug prices in a move that some see as calculated to secure votes from seniors in the run-up to November's presidential election. There's no doubt that drug prices have become a challenge for many Americans, but as finer details of the executive orders have yet to emerge, it's unclear whether...

By Shiv Sharma and Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. As the nation emerges in fits and starts from the lockdowns spurred by the first wave of COVID-19 illnesses, we're beginning to appreciate the full impact of the pandemic, how tenacious it is, and that the sickness and death directly caused by the virus are only part of the picture. The three-month-plus suspension of routine, non-emergency medical care has created secondary, silent epidemics of societal and medical problems that require the urgent focus...

PRI senior fellow in health care studies Dr. Henry Miller joins "Next Round with PRI" to give an update on what scientists are learning about COVID-19 and the progress in finding a vaccine. He also weighs in on whether schools should be reopening this fall, gives his thoughts on what the Trump administration is doing good and bad in fighting the pandemic, and offers advices on how we can reduce our chances of getting the coronavirus. https://youtu.be/r8PCYOt_h5Y...

The Professor and Pete go to the movies to learn why there is a drug affordability problem. After watching a scary thriller about list prices and net prices, an adventure on the prescription escalator, and a movie on biosimilars, they learn that a) specific patient populations are impacted by the drug affordability problem; and b) these issues can be fixed with targeted reforms to achieve innovation and affordability....

By: Henry Miller, M.S., M.D. and Kathleen Hefferon, Ph.D. COVID-19 has turned our world upside down in so many ways, and the food supply chain is no exception. Whether consumers prefer fast or slow food, meat-based or vegan, local or imported, organic or conventional, supermarkets or farmers' markets, every aspect of our food supply chain, from farm to fork, has been affected by this scourge. The recent, rampant outbreaks of COVID-19 among meat-processing workers – over the past month or so, the...

As single-payer advocates such as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) are seizing on the COVID-19 pandemic to push even more aggressively for a complete takeover of our health care system by the federal government, listen to a special presentation of our recent webinar featuring PRI President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy Sally C. Pipes discussing why “Medicare for All” would be the wrong solution for the U.S. to embark on...

 The Professor and Pete reach the most difficult part of their journey: understanding how medicines are sold. It’s a complex system that hurts patients and at times exposes them to paying excessive costs. They also learn that patients who get their prescriptions from a pharmacy don’t really benefit from drug discounts negotiated by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) – only PBMs and insurers do....

By Andrew I. Fillat and Henry I. Miller With the world in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the short-term focus is now on how to avoid surges of infections and get the economy functioning so people can go back to work. Hindsight is, of course, 20-20. Many lessons about pandemics will be learned in retrospect—the most notable being the need for epidemiological surveillance, preparedness with stockpiles of medical supplies, and how not to handle the most vulnerable population during...

By: Henry Miller and Jeff Stier The World Health Organization this week showed once again why the motto on its official seal should be, Aperto Ore, Pede Inserta, or in English: Open Mouth, Insert Foot. On Monday, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO's emerging disease and zoonosis unit, said that transmission of COVID-19 from asymptomatic, infected patients to other persons was "very rare." There was immediate and widespread pushback. For example, on Tuesday the Harvard Global Health Institute issued a...

By Henry I. Miller and Kathleen L. Hefferon Many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the timing and site of its origin, the nuances of how it spreads, and its clinical manifestations and pathogenesis, are unknown. These uncertainties have given rise to a rash of bizarre speculations and conspiracies about the pandemic, which range from the more or less plausible, but unproven, to the absurd. Take, for instance, one of the more outlandish theories: that the pandemic somehow is correlated with the...

By Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and Andrew I. Fillat ‘Metadata” might sound like something that “Star Trek‘s” Spock would oversee, but it is real and increasingly familiar, as the result of stories about wiretaps and security. The easiest-to-understand example of it is information about the time, duration, originating number, and destination number of a phone call – but without any of the content (i.e. words spoken) of the call. Metadata might also indicate from its format that a field on a...

By Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and Andrew I. Fillat Every day seems to bring some new, unexpected, unpleasant revelation about the SARS-CoV-2 and the illness it causes, COVID-19. The infection has a long, often asymptomatic incubation period, high transmissibility, the ability to infect many human tissues, and, frequently, rapid deterioration of the clinical course. Some curious aspects of the infection, such as long duration of symptoms, multi-organ involvement, blood clots, and patients’ ability to tolerate extremely low blood oxygen levels have...

A COVID-19 Vaccine by January? Here’s Why It’s Possible But Not Likely By Christopher Curley The timeline to develop a safe, effective vaccine to fight a virus is typically counted in years — or even decades. But with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting millions around the world and killing hundreds of thousands of people, the race is on to produce a vaccine faster than ever before. President Donald Trump has said a vaccine could be available by January, which would be an unprecedented development cycle. But how realistic is that? Experts...