Author: Sally Pipes

The coronavirus pandemic is threatening to stretch many hospitals to their breaking point. Beds are filling up with stricken patients, and public health officials are concerned about whether we'll have enough doctors and other healthcare professionals to care for them. So they're scrambling to roll back years' worth of regulations on the healthcare labor market—many of which never should've been in place to begin with. There's no shortage of red tape for policymakers to cut to boost the supply of care...

Bill Gates announced on April 2 that his foundation would fund the construction of facilities to produce seven possible coronavirus vaccines. The Microsoft founder acknowledges that only two of those vaccines will likely succeed – and the foundation will thus waste billions of dollars on the failed candidates. That's a small price to pay to ensure the prompt delivery of vaccines, save countless lives and restart the economy, he says. And yet, "Billionaires should not exist," according to Sen. Bernie Sanders. "Every...

Sally C. Pipes joined the the Pat Miller Show in Cincinnati, Ohio to discuss the enormous benefits of the American private sector in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. Pipes breaks down how the private sector industries in the United States are pushing innovations in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic including necessary equipment and medical innovation. Click here to listen to the entire interview. ...

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has rolled back regulations on hospitals and health care providers. Hospitals are no longer barred from treating COVID-19 patients in outpatient facilities. The feds are also freeing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and medical residents to provide more care on their own. CMS is even issuing waivers that allow hospitals to provide meals, laundry service and child care while health care personnel are working. Apparently, it takes a pandemic for policymakers to acknowledge that so...

The new coronavirus outbreak has put enormous pressure on the American health care system. In response, federal officials and private insurers have rushed to improve patient access to video consultations and other forms of virtual care. It may have taken a public health emergency to bring “telehealth” to the mainstream, but these services are nothing new. We would do well to expand our reliance on telehealth long after COVID-19 is behind us. Telehealth involves the use of technology to deliver medical care...

As scientists race to develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, Democrats in Congress have renewed their push for price controls on drugs designed to protect us from the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, along with other illnesses. The Democrats claim many Americans will only be able to afford the therapies that emerge if the government caps their prices. But price controls are a counterproductive way to bring down the cost of vaccines and drugs to treat diseases. They'd not only result in shortages...

Optimism is in short supply as the coronavirus pandemic grows deadlier by the day. COVID-19 has taken thousands of lives around the world and upended nearly every aspect of daily life. But there is at least one bright spot in this global public health emergency. That's the astounding speed with which private firms have begun tackling the problem. While federal regulators have exacerbated the crisis at seemingly every turn, private firms have rolled out promising new therapies and technologies that could...

Swiss drugmaker Novartis recently launched a lottery-style program to allocate free doses of Zolgensma, its groundbreaking treatment for children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), to patients in countries that haven't approved the drug. But with a $2.1 million price tag, Zolgensma is inaccessible to some patients even where it has been approved. The prohibitive cost has been a source of criticism since the drug was approved. In a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Acting Commissioner last August, five U.S. senators, including presidential...

The White House Council of Economic Advisors just issued a damning indictment of a House bill (H.R. 3) designed to lower drug prices. According to White House economists, the measure endorsed by Nancy Pelosi and her fellow House Democrats could prevent the development of 100 new drugs over the next ten years. CEA concluded "the threat [the bill] poses to continued medical innovation will harm American patients in ways that far outweigh any benefits." This analysis is spot-on. That's why it's so surprising that...

A debate over the direction of healthcare reform is roiling the Democratic Party as it weighs whom to nominate for President in 2020. But the party does appear to have coalesced around a basic idea. “We believe that health care is a human right, and we are going to fight for a system that is based on human needs,” said progressive champion Senator Bernie Sanders at a recent campaign stop. Joe Biden’s campaign offers a similar line: “We all believe that health care...

This week, the Trump administration axed a proposal that would have saved American patients billions of dollars by shedding light on the complex drug supply chain. If enacted, the rule would have required insurers to share discounts they negotiate with drug companies directly with patients. The proposed rule would have changed the terms of Medicare Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage to more than 40 million elderly and disabled Americans. Part D plans are administered by private insurers who receive government subsidies. These insurers...

President Trump promised to reduce Americans’ pharmacy bills — and he’s delivering. His administration will soon finalize a rule that restructures the drug supply chain and ensure that tens of billions of dollars of hidden rebates and discounts flow to patients. The rule affects Medicare Part D, the federal prescription drug benefit for 45 million seniors and people with disabilities. Part D isn’t like other entitlement programs. Numerous private insurers compete to sell prescription drug plans to Medicare beneficiaries. The government...

The Trump administration is planning to propose one of the biggest changes to Medicare in decades. The draft rule aims to reduce government spending by linking Medicare drug reimbursement rates to the rates in more than a dozen other Western countries that use price controls to hold down pharmaceutical spending. If implemented, the rule would effectively bring socialist drug price controls to the United States. Though the government would save some money in the short term, the change would threaten patients’ health and...

Measles is making a comeback. As of May 17, there were over 800 reported cases of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s more than in any of the last four years. This uptick is dispiriting but shouldn’t be surprising. More and more people are deciding not to get their shots. In the past decade, the number of nonmedical vaccine exemptions for philosophical reasons has increased in 12 of the 18 states that allow them. A surge...

In California, politics is taking precedence over patients. That’s the only conclusion to draw from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recently released health care plan. He’s looking to impose price controls on prescription drugs. He’d like to expand Medicaid to undocumented immigrants up to the age of 26. He’s called for re-imposing the individual mandate, which would require everyone in the state to obtain coverage. He wants to subsidize the purchase of health insurance for those making up to six times the poverty...

This year, 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. For over 600,000 of them, that diagnosis will prove fatal. But there’s hope on the horizon. More Americans are surviving cancer each year, according to a new study from the American Cancer Society. The cancer death rate declined precipitously between its peak in 1991 and 2016. Absent that decline, 2.6 million more cancer patients would have died during that period. By one estimate, 73% of recent survival gains are due to...

*Featured in Kaiser Health News Morning Briefing* Today, Type 1 diabetes patients pay twice as much for insulin as they did in 2012. This is outrageous — but drug companies aren’t to blame. The problem is a dysfunctional supply chain that benefits everyone except patients. In today’s system, insurers hire third-party firms, known as pharmacy benefit managers, to manage drug plans. These PBMs negotiate with drugmakers and have the power to decide which drugs are covered by each plan. Each year, manufacturers dole out $150...

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...

In mid-January, three Democrats — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, and California Rep. Ro Khanna — introduced legislation that aims to reduce prescription drug prices. Their plan would essentially peg U.S. drug prices to those in five foreign countries where prices are typically lower because their governments forcibly control them. It would also open our borders to imported drugs from Canada and other countries. Their proposal is painfully shortsighted. It would slow pharmaceutical innovation and expose patients to dangerous counterfeits in...