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.

Policymakers across the globe are attempting to vilify the same private companies that have been invaluable partners in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. If these efforts are successful, it will be patients who are harmed the most. Globally, the World Trade Organization (WTO) wants to waive the patent rights for the companies that developed effective COVID-19 vaccines in record breaking time. Here in the U.S., states as diverse as Arkansas, California, and Texas are considering policies that use the pandemic as an...

For more than a century, National Geographic has produced a high-quality magazine that is well-grounded in science, history and culture. Lately, however, the editors have allowed agenda-driven articles based on flawed research to slip in between the covers. Take, for example, the latest piece by science writer Elizabeth Royte, which focused on the work of Jonathan Lundgren, who is portrayed as a hard-working scientist-farmer. He claims that widely used, state-of-the-art neonicotinoid insecticides “may be a threat to mammals,” as well as to...

Despite the constant stream of dour news about drug prices, actions by employer-sponsored plans are providing reasons for hope. Instead of accepting the high-cost of originator biologics, companies as diverse as Disney, Costco, and CalPERS are “asserting their own desire to see biosimilars implemented among their employees.” Capturing these savings during the pandemic only increases their importance. Biologic medicines are high valued drugs that have meaningfully improved patient health, particularly for people living with cancer and auto-immune diseases. These medicines are also...

By Robert Popovian and Wayne Winegarden The time has come for us to think about incremental, evolutionary, and targeted changes to the healthcare system to reduce costs rather than focusing on grand bargains. It is time for practical solutions that will likely have broad consensus amongst patients, providers, employers, and policymakers. While the debate over the merits of private sector healthcare solutions versus government control of healthcare continues, a group of policy experts with support from the Arnold Ventures and Tobin Center...

Title: Big Pharma Backs Joe Biden, But People Don't Think He'll Fix Drug Pricing By Darragh Roche Former Vice President Joe Biden is winning the race for donations from Big Pharma but experts and industry stakeholders doubt his plans will successfully lower drug prices or address underlying issues in the industry. The pharmaceuticals and health products industry has donated more than $5.9 million to Biden's presidential campaign, according to OpenSecrets.org, a site run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political donations....

So far in his campaign for president, Democratic nominee Joe Biden has assiduously avoided endorsing Medicare for All — much to the chagrin of a growing number of Democrats. A recent Hill-HarrisX poll finds that 87 percent of Democrats favor Medicare for All. And numerous delegates to the convention voted against the Democratic platform because it didn’t call for a federal takeover of the country’s health insurance system. But don’t be fooled. This intraparty squabble is more a matter of style than...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

Millions of people will continue to have access to affordable short-term health plans, thanks to a new ruling from the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. A three-judge panel of the court upheld by a 2-1 margin a Trump administration rule extending the maximum duration of a short-term plan to just under a year. Insurers can also renew the plans for up to three years. Short-term plans are appealing because they're so affordable. Unlike those for sale on the exchanges, they're not required to...

Sally C. Pipes joins the Lars Larson Show to question the Trump administration's latest action on drug pricing. President Trump plans to sign an executive order on Friday, July 24 that puts limits on drug pricing in the United States. Pipes explains that 90 percent of drugs are generic and already save most Americans a great deal of money. But the pending executive order ties the average reference drug price to those in other countries - Canada, UK, Germany, France,...

President Trump issued four executive orders Friday that he said will lower drug prices — but in reality, three of the orders will cause far more harm than good and represent electioneering at its worst. The three harmful executive orders allow the importation of drugs from Canada, reduce the price of insulin, and introduce an International Pricing Index for prescription drugs. The International Pricing Index will effectively impose price controls on prescription drugs under Medicare Part B — and in so doing, dramatically...

President Reagan famously said, “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government and I’m here to help”. It is time for President Trump to learn this wisdom. Along with Speaker Pelosi, Senator Sanders, and Representative Ocasio-Cortez, President Trump seems to believe that giving the government the authority to impose price controls on medicines will help patients. And, following the signing ceremony on Friday, he is now officially trying to make government price controls a reality. Of...

It’s not often that Joe Biden agrees with President Trump. But the former vice president found common ground with his presumptive opponent this month when he announced he would outline a plan to bring medical manufacturing back to the United States, something the president has long endorsed. This isn’t the first time political opponents have come together to support “Buy America” plans. Late last month, Sens. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, and Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, introduced several bills designed to increase...

The pharmaceutical industry has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with, arguably, the greatest surge in drug innovation in history. Consider that Remdesivir (produced by Gilead) has already received an emergency use authorization by the FDA for Covid-19. Losmapimod (produced by Fulcrum) is another promising treatment for Covid-19 that is in Phase III trials. And, these are just two of the many treatments that are showing great potential for patients. There are also multiple vaccines that are advancing at light speed while still maintaining the necessary safety protocols....

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...