KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Perspectives: When Drug Prices Are High Patients Take Fewer, Leading To More Expensive Care

Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.

The New York Times: A Medicare Drug Incentive That Leads To Greater Hospitalizations
Many studies have demonstrated what economics theory tells us must be true: When consumers have to pay more for their prescriptions, they take fewer drugs. That can be a big problem. For some conditions — diabetes and asthma, to name a few — certain drugs are necessary to avoid more costly care, like hospitalizations. This simple principle gives rise to a little-recognized problem with Medicare’s prescription drug benefit. (Austin Frakt, 5/8)

The Hill: The Tragic Toll Of Drug Price Controls
Colon cancer is one of the biggest killers in the developing world. The disease claims more than 600,000 lives every year. Breakthrough treatments can contain this disease and dramatically extend life. However, many colon cancer patients are currently denied access to these breakthrough treatments because of short-sighted government policies. (Andrew Spiegel, 5/5)

Bloomberg: Biotech's IPO Window Is Opening Wider
For more than a year now, every time the biotech IPO window has seemed to open a crack it has rapidly slammed shut. But a recent surge of deals and a period of relative stability in the market suggest this time might be different. Last year saw the smallest number of biotech IPOs since 2012 -- 36 offerings that raised about a third of what 2014 or 2015's bumper crops raised. But things appear to be looking up. The second quarter is less than halfway over, and already new companies have raised nearly as much money as they did in any quarter in 2016. (Max Nisen, 5/9)

RealClearHealth: Lives Depend On A Fair Trade Protecting US Medical Innovation
America is the undisputed leader in biopharmaceuticals and medical innovation, at least for now. In countries around the world, governments are taking steps to weaken their U.S. competitors while advancing their own domestic industries – hampering continued investment in innovative new therapies for patients. This is why it is so vital that America’s trade negotiators ensure that we enter into deals with true reciprocity and tough enforcement – something echoed by both the recently released Special 301 Report and President Trump’s April 29 executive order targeting trade abusers. We are happy to compete on a level playing field, but we have to do so with our eyes wide open – recognizing that other countries may not always share our commitment to fair play. (Stephen J. Ubl, 5/4)

Miami Herald: Keep U.S. Supply Of Prescription Drugs Uncorrupted
There is no doubt that the increasingly globalized nature of trade within the United States and around the globe has opened the door to an expansive number of goods and services for consumers. In fact, the growth of globalization has encouraged some policymakers to suggest that importation of prescription drugs would be a worthwhile opportunity for millions of Americans. (George Karavetsos, 5/6)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.