Policy Proposals

On this page, you’ll find our analysis on key state and federal pharmaceutical policy proposals, with a focus on providing the expected economic impact from these proposals.

As single-payer advocates such as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) are seizing on the COVID-19 pandemic to push even more aggressively for a complete takeover of our health care system by the federal government, listen to a special presentation of our recent webinar featuring PRI President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy Sally C. Pipes discussing why “Medicare for All” would be the wrong solution for the U.S. to embark on...

By Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and Andrew I. Fillat Every day seems to bring some new, unexpected, unpleasant revelation about the SARS-CoV-2 and the illness it causes, COVID-19. The infection has a long, often asymptomatic incubation period, high transmissibility, the ability to infect many human tissues, and, frequently, rapid deterioration of the clinical course. Some curious aspects of the infection, such as long duration of symptoms, multi-organ involvement, blood clots, and patients’ ability to tolerate extremely low blood oxygen levels have...

America is in a state of collective angst, one that hasn't been seen since perhaps the Second World War. Every crisis since then, whether it was war, the 9/11 attacks, flu pandemics, or financial meltdown, had left most Americans unaffected. But now, few are economically, medically, or emotionally untouched. The SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, pose threats or extreme inconvenience of one sort or another to virtually everyone. In a crisis like this, driven by health (and the...

It was not long ago that the economy’s rising tide was supporting state budgets across the country. As the Pew Charitable Trusts noted, widespread economic prosperity was supporting tax revenue growth and creating budget surpluses. When times are good, saving money is not always a priority in state capitols. But, times are no longer good, and saving money is now a top policy priority. The carnage is not contained to state budgets either. Businesses large and small are losing money, families are struggling...

On ‘Supply-Chain Repatriation,’ It’s Buyer (and Nation) Beware By Scott Lincicome One of the most fashionable COVID-19 proposals being circulated by Washington politicians and pundits these days is the “repatriating” of global supply chains for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and “personal protective equipment” that have been “outsourced” over the past three decades, leaving America utterly dependent on foreign countries, especially China, for these essential products. Bringing that manufacturing back home, so the story goes, is the only way to ensure future “resiliency” in...

PRI President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Studies Sally C. Pipes joins PRI's Next Round podcast to discuss some of the health care challenges that have popped up during the coronavirus crisis, including a renewed push for single-payer and calls for prescription drug price controls and a “Buy America” mandate for drug manufacturing. We also discuss a few positives changes that have occurred despite these tough times – the rise of telehealth and the rolling back...

Dr. Henry Miller joins the nationally-syndicated Lars Larson Show to debate shelter-in-place rollbacks by states and European countries and why it could be too early. Miller and Larson also debate the approaches of other countries and how their infection and death rate compare to the United States. Dr. Miller's segment begins at the 47:00 minute mark.  Lars Larson National Podcast · Lars Larson National Podcast 04-21-20...

The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., may have ended, but his "Medicare-for-all" crusade marches on. Writing in The New York Times last week, Sanders argued that the coronavirus outbreak proved the government should take over our nation's health care system. Sanders isn't the only one championing "Medicare-for-all" in the wake of the pandemic. More than half of voters now say they support a single-payer system. But "Medicare-for-all" would not have improved our nation's response to the outbreak. Other countries with socialized medicine have struggled mightily to combat COVID-19. In fact, the United States would have been even...

Dr. Oz and other TV docs hit with new coronavirus symptom: tripping over their own tongues By Corky Siemaszko Three of America's best known TV doctors are taking their medicine after making inflammatory statements about the coronavirus. . . . . . Dr. Henry I. Miller, a former federal Food and Drug Administration researcher and a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco, said they are ubiquitous on television because the medium is looking for "pseudo-experts" who reflect the biases of...

Dr. Henry Miller joins the John Batchelor Show to provide an update on the state of testing in the United States and rest of the world. Dr. Miller explains that antibody testing will determine the true amount of cases, and also explains that only reliable, largely-used tests will help in the fight against the coronavirus. Dr. Miller also explains the danger of inaccurate and bad testing, like a recent example from the United Kingdom where their recent antibody tests were...

President Trump announced at the White House coronavirus press briefing on Tuesday that the United States will immediately halt all funding for the World Health Organization, because it had caused "so much death" by "severely mismanaging and covering up" the coronavirus' spread, putting "political correctness over lifesaving measures." Other government officials, health experts, and analysts also have raised concerns about the WHO’s bungled response to the pandemic, accusing it of being too trusting of the Chinese government, which initially tried to conceal the outbreak in Wuhan. Rather than taking Beijing to...

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...

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks more and more medical and social havoc worldwide, we need to recall the observation of The Great One—no, not Dr. Tony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health—the other one, hockey player Wayne Gretzky, who said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Anticipating what’s coming is especially important in confronting an emerging infectious disease whose dynamics and possible impacts we don’t yet know. If we react too...

The costs of economic fallacies are magnified during times of crises. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration’s trade fallacies are not only threatening our economic well-being, they are now putting people’s lives at risk. It is becoming politically incorrect to recognize that the expansion of international trade has helped Americans live better, more prosperous, lives. But, that does not change the reality that Americans benefit greatly from the global economy. As Dr. Arthur Laffer explained in a 2007 speech on the pillars of Reaganomics at the...

Even for a nation as mighty, wealthy, and innovative as the United States, some problems don’t have ready solutions. Instead, we need to try to gather information, limit damage, and perform the needed course corrections. That’s where we are with the outbreak of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (the illness caused by which is designated COVID-19). There are some harsh, even frightening realities. First, we are past the point at which “containment” (the prevention of spread beyond known sources, such as travelers to China or...

The Green New Dealers want us to think we have to either live more austere lives under coercive government policies or destroy the planet. Opponents of their plan, the theory goes, are willing to sacrifice the environment for short-term financial prosperity for the elite few. Nothing could be further from the truth. Meeting Americans’ needs, especially those of the neediest, requires free markets that can realize and reward the benefits of technological innovations, big and small. Big innovations are those such as the...

California wants to get into the drug making business. Gov. Gavin Newsom just announced his intention to have the state contract with generic drug manufacturers to make drugs to sell to state residents, presumably at lower cost than they’re available on the market today. But the plan won’t deliver much in the way of savings. In fact, it could cost taxpayers a significant amount of money. There are far more effective ways to make prescription drugs more affordable — say, by injecting...

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...

Drug supply chain, pricing system reforms will slash healthcare costs, says PRI By Jeff Lagasse As the Trump administration pushes for price caps and government controls to address prescription drug prices, a new issue brief released by the Center for Medical Economics and Innovation at the Pacific Research Institute contends that reforming the complex drug supply chain and ending the current drug pricing system that overcharges patients – along with systemwide reforms – are what's needed to lower America's healthcare costs. Many proposals have been...