Author: Sally Pipes

House lawmakers recently introduced legislation that would at last repair a program meant to provide low-income Americans with affordable medicine. In theory, the federal 340B Program, named after the section of the 1992 law establishing it, allows hospitals serving underprivileged groups to buy medications at steep discounts. The idea was to improve access to drugs in areas where price was a barrier. The problem is that the law has a loophole big enough to drive an ambulance through. Hospitals have exploited it,...

The Biden administration proposed a rule this month that would remove medical debt from credit reports. It's sure to be popular, if for no other reason than that it's expected to boost credit scores for the more than 15 million people with such debt by an average of 20 points. But as with so many of President Joe Biden's signature health reforms, his latest ploy fails even the most basic cost-benefit analysis. Implicit in the proposal are two assumptions. Click to read the...

There's never been a better time to get lung cancer in the United States. That may sound morbid. But this deadliest of cancers appears to be losing a bit of its punch. The combination of smoking reduction, increased screening, and pharmaceutical advancements has caused the lung cancer death rate to drop 20% over the past five years, according to reporting from the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. The last leg of that three-legged stool is the most impressive. The Journal highlighted a suite of new treatments...

Every day, nearly 10,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer. The good news is that applying sunscreen can substantially reduce a person's risk of getting skin cancer. The bad news is that the federal government is doing its best to keep effective sunscreens out of the hands of ordinary Americans. Unlike most developed countries, the United States classifies sunscreen as a drug, not a cosmetic. That means sunscreens are subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which...

For years, the left's campaign to dictate the price of prescription drugs has focused on one medicine above all others — insulin. The hormone was discovered more than a century ago by Canadian doctor Frederick Banting and his medical student Charles Best. They famously sold their patent to the University of Toronto for $1 apiece. How can insulin still be a financial burden for some of the people with diabetes who need it? This problem motivated the $35 insulin price cap for Medicare enrollees, which...

Earlier this year, European authorities recommended approval of tofersen, a new drug that treats a rare genetic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. That decision came nearly a year after American regulators granted the drug accelerated approval. Patients with that rare form of ALS in England aren't so lucky. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, or NICE, which evaluates whether treatments are "cost-effective" for the country's National Health Service, announced a decision in March that would effectively render the drug unavailable to them. It's a...

Congress faces a year-end deadline to extend its relaxed pandemic-era rules permitting greater use of telehealth by Medicare beneficiaries. If our lawmakers fail to step up, millions of seniors as well as privately insured patients could lose access to what has become an essential form of medical care. The expansion of telehealth is a perfect example of how cutting red tape can improve people’s lives. Congress should make these changes permanent and use the experience as a model to remove roadblocks to...

Last month at a White House event, President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., took a victory lap for supposedly having "beat Big Pharma" through drug-pricing provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. Beaming with pride, they hailed new powers for Medicare to "negotiate" drug prices as a historic achievement. But their self-congratulation rests on a false premise. Far from being a big win for Americans' health, the IRA bankrolls billions of dollars' worth of left-wing policy priorities at the expense of life-saving pharmaceutical innovation...

Americans collectively owe some $220 billion in medical debt. In response, a growing number of states, including New Jersey and Connecticut, are using public funds to relieve those debts. Gov. Josh Shapiro, D-Pa., proposed doing something similar in his state earlier this year. But is canceling medical debt the best way to help cash-strapped Americans? Click to read the full article in Newsmax. ...

Cost Plus Drug Company CEO Mark Cuban recently pointed out that self-insured businesses could save over $70,000 per employee annually by getting their workers to switch from AbbVie’s blockbuster anti-inflammatory treatment Humira to a lower-cost biosimilar called Yusimry. Humira has a list price of roughly $7,000 per month. Since it lost market exclusivity last year, nine nearly identical copycats have hit pharmacy shelves. A year’s supply of Yusimry costs the same as just one month of Humira. Why doesn’t every employer in America follow Cuban’s advice? The answer has three letters: PBM. Click to read the...

Speaking at a White House event with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., very recently, President Biden crowed about his rapidly progressing scheme to impose price controls on prescription drugs. "Finally — finally we beat Big Pharma," he said to Sanders. Unfortunately for Americans — and indeed, patients everywhere — the Democrats' assault on the drug industry will result in fewer cures, less access to state-of-the-art medicines, and more avoidable death and suffering. Democrats gave the federal government the ability to dictate the prices of prescription drugs through Medicare...

Medical students recently celebrated “Match Day,” when aspiring doctors learn where they’ll be spending the next few years in residency to complete their training. America needs many more physicians — as many as 86,000 by 2036, according to projections released this week by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Policymakers can help plug that gap by easing regulatory burdens that keep qualified, internationally trained physicians from practicing in the United States. Click to read the full article in the Washington Examiner....

Like most pharmaceutical companies, Gilead Sciences Inc. devotes a huge amount of time and money to making sure its products are safe for patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its drugs to fight HIV, and these medications have worked remarkably well. It then developed the next generation of HIV medications, and those too have worked well. For that, Gilead is being rewarded with lawsuits—lots of them. Earlier this year, California's First District Court of Appeal ruled that lawsuits brought by...

Any list of the world's most inhumane healthcare bureaucracies has to include Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence at the top. For over two decades, the agency has employed ruthless cost-benefit analyses to effectively deny British patients access to the latest medicines. Now NICE is looking to export its expertise rationing life-saving drugs to the United States. The body recently announced a collaboration with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a U.S. group that purports to determine the cost-effectiveness of medical treatments. Similar...

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders called the CEOs of several major pharmaceutical firms to testify earlier this month before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where he serves as chairman. The hearing's official purpose was to discuss prescription drug pricing. But it mainly offered Sanders a forum to castigate the pharmaceutical industry. "The overwhelming beneficiary of high drug prices in America is the pharmaceutical industry," Sanders said. "The United States government does not regulate drug companies. With a few exceptions, the drug companies regulate...

This week, members of the World Trade Organization have convened half a world away in Abu Dhabi. But a proposal on the agenda could have profound consequences for us here in California. Representatives of the World Trade Organization’s 164 member nations will discuss whether to waive patent protections on COVID-19 tests and treatments. If California’s political leaders don’t do everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen, they’ll risk irrevocable damage to the state’s businesses and economy. This isn’t...

The Left has long insisted that medical debt is a national crisis and that the federal government needs to do something about it. They appear to have new ammunition in the form of an analysis published this month by the Peterson Center on Healthcare and KFF. Nearly one in 12 adults — 20.4 million people — had medical debt in 2021, according to the brief. But a closer look at the numbers shows that these figures rely on some questionable assumptions. The Peterson-KFF study counts any adult with “over $250 in unpaid medical bills as...

Cancer is becoming more common. This year, the number of new cancer cases among Americans is projected to exceed 2 million for the first time ever, according to a paper published last month by the American Cancer Society. The disease is also afflicting people earlier in their lives. Cancer diagnosis rates for people under 50 rose nearly 13% since 2000. Colorectal cancer is now the leading cause of cancer death for men under 50 — and the second-leading cause for women. Statistics like these show just how hard...

The price of health insurance has skyrocketed in recent years, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Average annual premiums for employer-based family plans have risen by 22% percent since 2018, to nearly $24,000. It's tempting to see these hikes as a shameless cash-grab by avaricious insurers. But there are more systemic factors fueling the growth of health costs. Only by attacking these root causes can policymakers bring down the cost of coverage without compromising the quality of...

Last year’s Inflation Reduction Act is not proving popular with a group it aims to help — older Americans. That’s according to a recent survey from Commitment to Seniors. More than 80% of likely voters over 55 believe the IRA hasn’t helped them personally in terms of lowering the impact of inflation, consumer costs, and prescription drug prices. Almost eight in ten say the IRA is a failure one year after its passage....