Viewpoints: Drug Bill Could Boost More Partnerships, Lower Prices; Consumerism Is Growing, Finally, In Health Care
Editorial writers focus on how to reduce health care costs and other health issues.
Public-Private Partnerships Can Help Life Sciences Companies Grow
Bills like the Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act, if enacted, could help a beneficial trend gather momentum in 2019: life sciences companies making public-private partnerships a bigger focus of their business strategies. The bill, proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), would create an Office of Drug Manufacturing aimed at boosting competition, lowering drug prices, and addressing prescription drug shortages, among other goals. (Su Linna, 1/21)
Dallas Morning News:
High Prices Are Still Plaguing Health Care, And The More We Talk About It, The Better
Starting this month, hospitals must post their list prices online and the numbers can be startling: $13,361 to treat chest pain, $72,092 for a major hip and knee replacement, $112,644 for a certain kidney and urinary tract procedure. What are patients supposed to do with this information? Probably not much. For all the talk about empowering people to become better consumers of health care, relatively few take advantage of shopping tools that already exist. (Mitchell Schnurman, 1/21)
The New York Times:
How To Inoculate Against Anti-Vaxxers
The World Health Organization has ranked vaccine hesitancy — the growing resistance to widely available lifesaving vaccines — as one of the top 10 health threats in the world for 2019. That news will not come as a surprise in New York City, where the worst measles outbreak in decades is now underway. Nor in California or Minnesota, where similar outbreaks unfolded in 2014 and 2017, respectively. Nor in Texas, where some 60,000 children remain wholly unvaccinated thanks in part to an aggressive anti-vaccine lobby. (1/19)
Are We Ready For A Flu Pandemic?
As 2018 has come to a close, the memory of the remarkable crisis of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic looms large over public health practitioners. On this centennial anniversary, we must ask: Are our tools, systems, and collective mindset prepared for the next pandemic? (Pardis Sabeti and Nathan Yozwiak, 1/22)
The NIH Needs To Become Leaner And More Innovative. Here's How
Worried about America’s biomedical research enterprise, academics have persistently sounded the alarm over slow growth in the National Institutes of Health budget. The Trump administration responded to those concerns in its 2018 proposed NIH budget by recommending a 22 percent budget cut and a reduction in support for indirect costs. While those cuts never came to pass, they marked a manifestation of political will to examine spending at the NIH.There’s no question that the NIH could be a leaner and more innovative organization. But that would require elemental reforms in how it supports indirect costs (more on those in a minute) and its reliance on study sections to review grant proposals. (Brian J. Miller and Kyle Richardville, 1/22)
Elizabeth Warren Is Calling For Medicare For All. What Does England’s Experience Tell Us?
Mainstream Democrats are now lining up behind a more radical proposal: single-payer health care, or “Medicare for all.” ...So Ideas leapt at the opportunity to chat with one of the world’s leading experts on single-payer: Sir Malcolm Grant, who recently stepped down after seven years as chairman of England’s National Health Service. (David Scharfenberg, 1/18)
Community Networks Might Help Solve Opioid Epidemic
Instead of pouring billions into law enforcement and medical facilities, we have to find a sweet spot that will not only help people stop using opioids but also help them lead productive lives. Recently, I advised a group of international communities on drug use issues. A unique concept we tested was the Peer Supported Vocational Networks (PVNs). These networks are managed by former drug users in recovery. (Jagdish Khubchandani, 1/19)
Medical Drones Can Help Save Lives In The United States
Many believe that deploying drones for public safety and humanitarian aid will be key to public acceptance here in the United States. Drones could benefit Americans in multiple ways. Sizable portions of America are sparsely settled, with people living far from urban medical centers. Weather conditions often render existing delivery vehicles impractical or hazardous, such as icy roads for cars, trucks, and ambulances, or foggy skies for helicopters. Traffic conditions impose dangerous slowdowns in delivery — imagine trying to drive emergency blood supplies across Los Angeles at rush hour. Drones could offer effective alternatives in these situations. (Robert Graboyes and Darcy Nikol, 1/18)
The New York Times:
Roe V. Wade Is At Risk. Here’s How To Prepare.
Abortion opponents have spent decades planning for a Supreme Court with a majority hostile to reproductive rights. So it’s little surprise that, with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh in the fall, the necessary fifth vote, they’ve been quick to seize the moment. The anti-abortion movement has also spent those decades building a vast fund-raising and organizing network, with the goals of securing an anti-abortion voting bloc and getting more like-minded judges, at every level, and lawmakers — and presidents — into power. (1/21)
Abortion Restrictions Can Hurt Women. Follow Evidence, Not Ideology.
The assertion that admitting privileges laws protect patients is yet another false argument advanced by those who seek abortion laws based on ideology, rather than scientific evidence. State legislatures have an obligation to ensure that claims made by proponents of laws are backed by evidence before they vote for them. And courts have a legal and ethical responsibility to weigh the benefits of these laws against the harm they cause to patients. (Ushma Upadhyay, 1/21)
Abortion Soon To Be Illegal: Right To Life Louisville Says
Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton (its lesser known companion case) said it was OK to tear apart, vacuum out or poison a baby up to the point of birth for reasons of “health” so broad to include not only a woman’s physical, emotional or psychological well-being, but her social health as well, and her age. Today, the vast majority of abortions are done because a woman feels pressure to abort from someone else, or because she simply doesn’t want or can’t afford a child (many couples, unable to have children of their own, would love to adopt). (Schu Montgomery, 1/22)
Roe V. Wade: 'Heartbeat Bill' Would Ban Abortion In Kentucky
Senate Bill (SB) 9 would ban abortion once fetal heart tones can be detected. In practice, this means banning abortion in the commonwealth at about six weeks of pregnancy. This proposal is so extreme that it was vetoed by former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a conservative Republican, last month even as he signed another abortion restriction. SB 9 does not include exceptions for rape, incest or diagnosis of fetal anomalies. After Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a similar “heartbeat bill” earlier in 2018, polling showed that the majority of Iowans felt the law went too far. Abortion is a complex and personal issue, and harsh bans like SB 9 do not have broad support. (Kim Greene, 1/22)