Issues

Republicans have concluded their national convention without offering a detailed policy plan for the next four years. Instead, they have stuck with their 2016 platform and offered seven bullet points outlining their priorities when it comes to healthcare. Among those seven are promises to reduce health insurance premiums and end surprise medical bills. They can accomplish both by insisting on transparency from both providers and insurers. The price of medical care is shrouded in secrecy. Healthcare providers may charge different insurers different amounts. Those who pay...

Nearly three dozen attorneys general are attempting a legal act of theft. This month, attorneys general from 31 states, American Samoa, Guam and the District of Columbia sent a letter to the heads of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration asking the federal government to revoke Gilead Sciences ’ patent for remdesivir, an antiviral drug shown to reduce mortality in patients with Covid-19. The attorneys general effectively assert...

While discussing many pandemic-related issues with friends and colleagues, we were reminded of the quip of journalist and satirist H.L. Mencken: “For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” As we battle the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the illness it causes, COVID-19, the “fog of war” continues on both the medical and epidemiological fronts. On the public health side, different studies, especially those that involve modeling, seem to reach conflicting, or at least ambiguous, conclusions. And...

There is widespread anticipation of the availability of vaccines to prevent COVID-19 infections so that Americans can get their lives back to some semblance of normal.  Some three dozen vaccines, made with a variety of technology platforms, are now in clinical trials. Several of the more promising development programs have been accelerated by a White House crash program, “Operation Warp Speed,” which was launched in May. It was no secret that there would be intense pressure on the FDA from a White House...

As they approach the end of the Drug Pricing Maze, the Professor and Pete explore reforms to fix a broken system and encourage the use of cheaper biosimilars that can help patients and the health care system save big. They also learn what can be done to make very expensive gene therapies that provide a lot of value for patients more affordable and accessible....

The newest tool to fight coronavirus could be coming soon to your neighborhood retailer. This month, Walgreens announced it will partner with Village MD to open primary care clinics in 500 to 700 stores over the next five years. The drug chain is joining the likes of Walmart, CVS and Amazon to bring retail health clinics to the masses. By increasing the supply of care available to consumers, these new clinics will help lead to lower prices throughout the rest of the...

Surprise Billing Price Controls Decreasing Care Quality in CA By: Jacqueline LaPointe, Reporter Researchers at the Pacific Research Institute are warning Congressmembers to steer clear from price controls as a solution for surprise billing after finding that the policy approach had unintended consequences in California. In a new brief, researchers found that California’s surprise billing solution – which imposes benchmark prices on out-of-network services delivered at an in-network facility – narrowed provider networks for patients and incented further provider consolidation in the state. “California’s surprise...

Dr. Henry Miller, M.S., M.D., joins the John Batchelor Show for his regular update on the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 impact on how an eventual vaccine would be distributed. Miller talks about a recent op-ed he wrote that details the dilemma vaccine makers and the government face when it comes time to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine first by breaking down different populations that need access to the vaccine first. Batchelor and Miller also talk about the impact of the election year...

SAN FRANCISCO – California’s surprise medical billing law (Assembly Bill 72) – which imposes price controls on the rates out-of-network physicians can charge at in-network facilities – is hurting patients with lower quality care, reduced access, and higher health care system costs, finds a new brief released today by the Center for Medical Economics and Innovation at the Pacific Research Institute. Click here to download the brief “California’s surprise medical billing law has created unintended consequences that are increasing healthcare costs and...

PRI's Dr. Wayne Winegarden joins the Pegasus Institute to discuss the danger of price controls in health care including hurting rural health care providers and threatening the already thin margins many hospitals operate on. Winegarden also talks about the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19. Pegasus Institute · The Problem With Price Controls in Healthcare with Wayne Winegarden of Pacific Research Institute...

Last August, Chris Walcroft, a 50-year old Canadian father of two, was told that he would be dead within a year without dialysis, according to reporting from CTV News. His kidneys were failing. His doctor scheduled a surgery for mid-March to implant a fistula, which is necessary for dialysis. Modern medical technology would afford Walcroft a chance to see his kids graduate from high school. Then the pandemic came. The Canadian government mandated across-the-board delays of "elective" surgeries to shore up personnel...

Here’s a thought experiment: after the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg, it became necessary to allocate seats on the lifeboats; there were only about 700 places for the 2208 passengers. What if seats had been auctioned, with the price determined by supply and demand—i.e., by market forces? Clearly, the wealthiest would have crowded out the others. Instead, the Captain decided that women and children should take precedence. Of course, children had the most life to lose, but why women...

The value of innovative medicines has absolutely nothing to do with its cost of production. Yet, not only does this myth persist, it appears to be growing. In the latest example, an article in the Journal of Virus Eradication claims that drugs being repurposed in the hopes they might be effective treatments for Covid-19, such as remdesivir and sofosbuvir, could be profitable at very low costs. How do the authors come up with this conclusion? They claim that the costs of production range between...

here is widespread anticipation of publicly available vaccines to prevent COVID-19 infections, so that we can “get back to normal.” Some three dozen, made with a variety of technology platforms, are in clinical trials. Several of the more promising vaccine development programs have been assisted by a White House crash program, “Operation Warp Speed,” which was launched in May. At the announcement, President Donald Trump said the goal would be to have 300 million doses of a vaccine available by the end of this year. Unfortunately, but inevitably,...

Dr. Henry Miller joins the nationally-syndicated Lars Larson Show to get an update on everything COVID-19. Miller and Larson discuss the status of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration's initiative to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Miller explains that the FDA said they will be very transparent as data and testing becomes finalized and he thinks there is reason to be optimistic about rapid development of a virus that is thoroughly reviewed. Miller also talks about the lack of data in international...

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....

Last week, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci urged states with rising COVID-19 rates to consider a new round of lockdown restrictions. "You may need to pause, you may need to drop back a little bit," Fauci said. "I don't think you necessarily have to revert to go all the way back to reclosing." As they try to get the coronavirus' spread under control, states must resist the urge to impose blanket stay-at-home orders. Such draconian measures can cause people to postpone important medical care...

By: Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D., Kathleen L. Hefferon, Justin R. St. Juliana Like most institutions in American society, academia has been badly shaken by Covid-19. Many universities in the Northeast abruptly closed as the pandemic accelerated. Students were sent home, which in some cases involved returning to the other side of the globe. Faculty and staff at many institutions were offered emergency training workshops on everything from supporting student mental health to how to use video-conferencing platforms. Even before the pandemic,...

As Americans eagerly anticipate a COVID-19 vaccine, there's troubling new evidence that they're failing to get inoculated against other infectious diseases. To get vaccination rates back where they need to be, policymakers must remind the public of the importance of routine immunizations and remove the regulatory barriers that make it difficult for people to get their shots. A recent study of patients in Michigan found a significant reduction in vaccinations among all age groups. As of late May, fewer than half of...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1596236774320{padding-right: 40px !important;}"]DOWNLOAD THE PDF In October 2019, the Center for Medical Economics and Innovation at the Pacific Research Institute, under the direction of Dr. Wayne Winegarden, released its second study documenting the savings potential enabled by biosimilars. Biosimilars are medicines manufactured in, or derived from, biological sources that are developed to be similar to FDA-approved reference products. Biosimilars are only approved to compete in nine biologic drug classes in the U.S.,...