Issues

Millions of people have canceled doctor’s appointments and postponed elective surgeries over the past 18 months. But now that the pandemic has largely subsided, many patients feel it’s once again safe to seek care. A Gallup poll conducted in May found that nearly 17% of Americans had gone to a hospital, doctor’s office, or treatment center in the previous 24 hours, up from just 6% the year before. Whether patients actually receive the care they’re seeking, though, depends entirely on where they...

It’s time for your annual physical. You make an appointment with your doctor and mark the date on your calendar. But when the day arrives, you don’t set aside two to three hours or wait for a nurse to call your name in a sterile doctor’s office. You log onto your laptop from the comfort of your living room. The process takes less than 30 minutes. For many Americans, this was a reality amid the pandemic, when lots of care was delivered...

The myth about endangered, disappearing honeybees lives on — with potentially dire implications. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, just reintroduced “Save the Bees” legislation that would eliminate farmers’ most advanced and effective defenses against crop-destroying pests in the name of preventing imaginary bee declines and preserving food security, which the bill would actually undermine. According to Blumenauer’s press release, “The United States lost an estimated one-third of its honeybee colonies between 2016 and 2018.” This sounds scary, except the Department of...

America’s vaccination campaign is stalling. In late June, pharmacists and other providers were administering roughly 800,000 shots a day — down 80 percent from a peak of more than 4.6 million in mid April. Because of this precipitous decline, the Biden administration recently admitted it would miss its self-imposed goal of vaccinating at least 70 percent of American adults by Independence Day. So far, only 66 percent have gotten the jab. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deserve much of...

Rebates and discounts are generally viewed as important competitive tools that lower prices for consumers, and rightly so. But consumers should beware when discounts create competitive restrictions that reduces their choices and increases their costs. Such is the case when dominant drug manufacturers use rebates to keep lower-priced drugs off the market – practices referred to as “rebate walls” or “rebate traps.” Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission in a recent report to Congress suggests its poised to shine a spotlight...

Dr. Henry Miller talks about potential life-saving medical technology with organ transplants on the nationally-syndicated Lars Larson Show. Dr. Miller talks about advances in 3-D printing for liver, gallbladder, and even heart transplants and why the FDA is slow to test and approve these groundbreaking practices. Dr. Miller's segment begins at the 48-minute mark. Lars Larson National Podcast · Lars Larson National Podcast 06-22-21...

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently surveyed more than 300 companies with more than 5,000 employees — and found that 83% believed that “a greater government role in providing coverage and containing costs would be better for their business.” They’re gravely mistaken. A health care system that features even more government control than the status quo would mean higher taxes and bigger recruitment challenges for companies — not to mention lower-quality care for their employees. Government could tighten its grip on our health...

Demand for doctors is far outstripping supply. The United States will face a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034, according to projections out this month from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Already, many Americans are struggling to get the care they need. About 35% of patients had trouble finding a doctor in the past several years, according to a 2019 survey. That's up from 25% in 2015. This physician shortage disproportionately affects Americans in rural and historically neglected urban areas. Medical schools are taking...

It all sounds so simple: to hasten the end of the pandemic globally, suspend intellectual property protections on Covid-19 vaccines to allow swift production of low-cost copies the world over. The Biden administration has bought into exactly that strategy at the World Trade Organization. But some simple ideas are also simplistic, and this one is dangerously so. Waiving patent rights for Covid-19 vaccines will actually slow their availability in the developing world, thereby prolonging the pandemic. The production of these breakthrough Covid-19...

Reforms to the U.S. drug pricing environment are required, but to improve patients’ health outcomes, reforms must be grounded in a comprehensive understanding of the current drug pricing system. Otherwise, policymakers will make things worse, not better. Unfortunately, a March 2021 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) fails to live up to this goal. The title of the report, U.S. Prices for Selected Brand Drugs Were Higher on Average than Prices in Australia, Canada, and France, appears to confirm the narrative that U.S. patients...

PRI's Dr. Henry Miller talks about the misleading claims about national vaccine rates versus progress by each state, and how the vaccine rates breakdown by region with the nationally-syndicated Lars Larson Show. Dr. Miller also discusses statements about vaccines by President Joe Biden during his run for the presidency and it's impact on current vaccination rates. Lars Larson National Podcast · Lars Larson National Podcast 06-15-21...

The COVID-19 vaccines have been nothing short of miraculous. Life is returning to normal in many places. But ACSH advisor Dr. Henry Miller argues that we will still need effective medical treatments for COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are the miracle that has significantly suppressed the pandemic in a number of countries, including the United States, where the current seven-day moving averages of cases and deaths are at levels not seen since March of 2020.  With continued aggressive vaccination, we can further suppress the numbers – getting us...

Dr. Henry Miller, physician, molecular biologist, and senior fellow with PRI, talks to the Lars Larson Show about the new Alzheimer drug approved by the FDA. Dr. Miller gives the history of Alzheimer drug approvals and the controversy around it. Larson and Dr. Miller talk about the approval process used by the FDA, costs, and how additional testing for the drug would work. Dr. Miller's segment begins at the 47-minute mark.  Lars Larson National Podcast · Lars Larson National Podcast 06-08-21...

On April 13th, citing "an abundance of caution," after the appearance of a few rare blood clots in the brain (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or CVST) following administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the FDA announced a "pause" in its administration. Regulators reversed course just ten days later, after confirming that the incidence of that adverse reaction was, indeed, extremely low, and that the benefits of receiving the vaccine overwhelmingly outweighed the risks. The decision to pause was precipitated...

A very bad regulation is coming. Here's the short of it. In 2016 Congress passed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law. That law directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promulgate regulations for the mandatory labeling of "bioengineered" (or "genetically engineered") foods for human consumption. Consequently, the USDA issued the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standards (NBFDS) in December 2018. Although those regulations became effective in February 2019, the USDA allowed food manufacturers (the regulated entities) until Jan. 1, 2022, to come into full...

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved two over-the-counter, at-home rapid coronavirus tests. Harvard epidemiologist Dr. Michael Mina called this development “a major advance.” He’s right. But the FDA should have reached this milestone months ago. Regulators dawdled, and thousands of people died. Public health experts have been calling for at-home COVID-19 tests since the early days of the pandemic. With more testing, more people would know they had the virus, stayed home, and slowed the virus’s spread. For much of the past...

This week, lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced bills that could preserve access to telehealth for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries beyond the pandemic. The House measure would allow Medicare beneficiaries to continue receiving “audio-only” remote care — that is, by phone. The Senate bill would direct the federal government to come up with a list of telehealth services that state Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program should cover. This sustained enthusiasm for telehealth is great for patients. State and federal officials relaxed...