Issues

Dr. Henry Miller and Lars Larson talk about who could be eligible for an early vaccine and what data could tell us about how effective the vaccine will be on different age groups. Miller also talks about having insufficient data on vaccine clinical testing for seniors or those more at risk of COVID-19 due to those not involved in the study and sheltering at home. Miller and Larson also discuss concerns from health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci about the coming...

President Trump and senior advisor Jared Kushner claim that the most favored nation executive order signed by the President over the weekend is necessary for drug pricing because “the U.S. shouldn’t pay more than other European countries for the same treatments.” This policy will make things worse, not better. If the president and his son-in-law applied their flawed logic consistently, then there is an even greater economic disparity that requires fixing. People living in Manhattan or San Francisco are paying more than other...

By: Henry Miller, M.S., M.D. and Andrew Fillat Recently, we co-authored an article about the thorny issues surrounding who would get access to the earliest doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. As we discussed, there are many possible options for setting priorities in terms of who should be vaccinated first. One obvious solution one would be to prioritize the people who are instrumental in mitigating the pandemic, with front-line medical personnel and staff at long-term care facilities going to the head of the line....

Pacific Research Institute senior fellow and economist Dr. Wayne Winegarden talks free market energy, California rolling power blackouts, and optimistic solutions to energy policy on The Roth Effect with Carol Roth. Winegarden also discusses his recent studies that challenge green energy, fracking, electric vehicles, and more. [embed]https://mp3.ricochet.com/2020/09/Roth_Effect_66.mp3[/embed]...

Title: Here’s what you need to know about clinical trials as drug makers push forward with coronavirus vaccine studies By: Jaimy Lee Whether you’re new to investing in pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies or simply paying close attention to the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, questions may have occurred about how clinical trials work — here’s what you need to know to understand the process. The first thing is that we’ve never seen vaccines developed as quickly as what is happening right now....

Earlier this month, the California legislature passed a bill that would make the Golden State the first in the nation to establish its own line of generic drugs. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law by the end of the month. The measure’s architects argue that a state-run generics firm would provide additional competition in the drug market and lead to lower prices. But that promise is empty. Generic drugs can’t get much cheaper. Setting up a...

Dr. Henry Miller and Lars Larson talk about the latest in progress in the search for a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic, including the recent news that AstraZeneca has paused their third-stage clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine due to an illness to a participant. Miller talks about how the review process works when it comes to assessing the safety of a vaccine in the clinical trial phase. Dr. Miller's segment begins at the 47:00-minute mark. Lars Larson National Podcast · Lars...

If you’ve ever had a medical procedure and received a large bill from your hospital because, unknown to you, one of your doctors was not in your insurance network – that’s the subject of this podcast. On "Next Round," PRI senior fellow Wayne Winegarden discusses his recently released study on “Surprise Medical Billing.” He explains how it happens, why it happens, and the reforms that could prevent it. https://youtu.be/G4BvoVHT4so...

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. About four dozen, made with a variety of technology platforms, are now in clinical trials, nine in large-scale safety/efficacy testing. It was hardly a secret that there would be intense pressure on the FDA from a White House desperate for good news to provide an “October Surprise” in the form of a vaccine approval before...

There is widespread anticipation of vaccines to prevent COVID-19 infections so that Americans can get their lives back to some semblance of normal. About four dozen, made with a variety of technology platforms, are now in clinical trials, nine in large-scale safety/efficacy testing. Vaccines have also assumed unprecedented political importance. The Washington Post reported on Sunday: “President Trump is so fixated on finding a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that in meetings about the U.S. pandemic response, little else captures his attention, according to administration...

Title: AB 72 brief analyzes impact of medical billing reform law that's had bad consequences for patients and practitioners By Sarah Downey, Northern California Record A new policy brief about the impact of California AB 72 finds that the law – designed to alleviate surprise medical billing – while well-intentioned also has unintended consequences that have increased medical costs and affected quality of care. The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) brief, “The Menace of Medical Rate Setting: The Case of California’s AB 72,” is...

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...