KHN’s ‘What the Well being?’: Our two hundredth Episode!

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The Meals and Drug Administration discovered itself within the scorching seat this week when it accepted a controversial new drug to deal with Alzheimer’s illness with scant proof of its effectiveness.

In the meantime, as well being coverage watchers look forward to the Supreme Courtroom to rule in a case threatening the Reasonably priced Care Act, the Biden administration is reporting {that a} file 31 million People have medical insurance as a direct results of the well being regulation. And President Joe Biden seeks to realize goodwill abroad as he pronounces the U.S. will present 500 million doses of covid vaccine to assist worldwide well being efforts.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Instances, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • The FDA announcement on the drug Aduhelm to deal with Alzheimer’s illness was assailed by many scientists, medical doctors and shopper teams who say the drug’s advantages haven’t been confirmed and it’s not prepared for common use. However affected person advocacy teams pushed the FDA exhausting to present the treatment a thumbs up. They argue that FDA approval will spark extra funding from drugmakers in therapies for the illness.
  • Aduhelm will probably be priced at $56,000 a yr, which doesn’t embody scans and different medical checks and preparations that sufferers would require. The choice to approve a pricey drug that has apparently marginal profit is more likely to spur the talk over excessive prescription drug pricing for each shoppers and the federal government.
  • If Medicare opts to cowl the drug, it may drive up prices of Half B premiums even for the thousands and thousands of beneficiaries not taking the treatment.
  • Along with this main announcement concerning the Alzheimer’s drug, the FDA has a heavy docket, together with a call on whether or not to present full approval to the covid vaccines getting used within the U.S. underneath a particular authorization and the way to deal with these vaccinations for kids. However it’s coping with these main points with out a everlasting chief since Biden has not but named his option to be FDA commissioner.
  • Biden’s announcement that the USA will present the Pfizer covid vaccine to different international locations will assist ease tensions at his assembly this week with overseas leaders, who’ve criticized the U.S. for holding onto vaccine whereas the world suffers. But it surely most likely doesn’t assuage progressives who’ve been calling for the switch of the vaccine patents and know-how to these different international locations.
  • The podcast panelists, marking the present’s two hundredth episode, famous that over 4 years they’ve been stunned that the general public well being system was unprepared for a serious pandemic, that face masks may turn out to be a part of the political wars, that researchers may so rapidly present a profitable vaccine for covid-19, and that Republicans, when in command of Congress and the White Home, couldn’t overturn the Reasonably priced Care Act. However in addition they famous they weren’t stunned that the ACA continues to be a political lightning rod and that the nuances of well being coverage have thwarted different main reforms, together with efforts to curb drug costs.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews Chiquita Brooks-La Positive, the brand new administrator of the Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies on the Division of Well being and Human Companies.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose you need to learn too:

Julie Rovner: HuffPost and the Middle for Public Integrity’s “Spreading Vaccine Fears, and Cashing In,” by Liz Essley Whyte


Politico’s “What My Covid-19 Vaccine Saga Taught Me In regards to the U.S. Well being Care System,” by Joanne Kenen

Margot Sanger-Katz: The New York Instances’ “’On That Fringe of Concern’: One Girl’s Wrestle With Sickle Cell Ache,” by John Eligon

Sarah Karlin-Smith: Pink Sheet’s “Affected person Help Could Have Helped Push Aduhelm Towards Approval,” by Derrick Gingery

Joanne Kenen: The New Yorker’s “The Loss of life of Hahnemann Hospital,” by Chris Pomorski

To listen to all our podcasts, click on right here.

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KHN (Kaiser Well being Information) is a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points. Along with Coverage Evaluation and Polling, KHN is likely one of the three main working packages at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering info on well being points to the nation.


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