A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to save the supreme court from itself, how wearable technology promises to revolutionise health care (10:29) and our Bartleby columnist on why working from anywhere isn’t realistic (18:29).
AI has the power to transform health care. From more efficient diagnoses to safer treatments, it could remedy some of the ills suffered by patients. Film supported by @Maersk
Timeline: 00:00 – Can AI help heal the world? 00:45 – How can AI spot blindness? 04:01 – Protecting patients’ privacy 05:10 – How to share medical data safely 06:11 – Medical AI is rapidly expanding 08:02 – What do the sceptics say? 08.36 – Using AI for new medical devices 11:08 – What does the future hold for medical AI?
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. While diagnoses are decreasing in people over the age of 50, there’s been an increase for those who are younger.
For more information on why you should get a colonoscopy and how to schedule yours today, please visit https://cle.clinic/3oqWdy6
President Biden has released a health care plan that proposes reducing the age of eligibility for Medicare to 60 years and introducing a public option. Larry Levitt, MPP, Executive Vice President for Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Karen Joynt Maddox, MD, MPH, Co-Director of the Center for Health Economics and Policy (CHEP) at @Washington University School of Medicine, and Lawrence O. Gostin, JD from the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University discuss prospects for health care reform under the new administration.
Walmart, America’s largest grocer, launched a primary care clinic called Walmart Health, in September 2019. Analysts say the big box retailer faces several hurdles in its quest to scale up nationally with a roster of highly paid doctors and dentists. But with more than 35 million people uninsured as of 2019, and millions more with high deductible health plans, could Walmart Health’s low price point be the future of healthcare in America?
Presidential candidates’ microphones to be muted in parts of final debate, Pelosi, Mnuchin work to reach deal before Tuesday deadline, and this 14-year-old girl won a $25K prize for a discovery that could lead to a cure for Covid-19.
NYU Langone’s Kimmel Pavilion is home to the region’s newest and most technologically sophisticated neurosurgery suite. Designed to optimize patient care, our facilities are just one reason U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” ranks NYU Langone among the top 10 hospitals in the country for neurology and neurosurgery.
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There may be few issues that unite Americans ahead of the 2020 election as do their concerns about the cost of prescription drugs.
A clear majority — 75% — of respondents to a July survey said the cost of prescription medicines would be among the factors likely to influence their votes this year, according to a report from Gallup and the nonprofit West Health. Gallup reported on results from 1,007 interviews conducted with adults between July 1 and July 24.
1. What are the 2020 presidential candidates saying they will do to lower drug prices?
Both President Donald Trump, a Republican, and former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, have highlighted insulin costs in their discussions of the need to lower drug prices.
In a January interview with the New York Times editorial board, Biden noted the widespread discontent among Americans about sticker shock often experienced at pharmacies. He spoke of a need for the federal government to act to make medicines more affordable.
“This is a place where I find, whether you’re Republican or Democrat, you think you’re getting screwed on drug prices. And you are, in terms of everything from insulin to inhalers and a whole range of other things,” Biden said. “So, again, can I guarantee that it gets done? No, but I can tell you what, if anybody can get it done, I can, and I think there’s a consensus for it.”
2. Why doesn’t Medicare, the biggest U.S. purchaser of drugs, directly negotiate on drug prices?
Congress has taken different approaches in designing the terms under which the two largest federal health programs, Medicaid and Medicare, buy drugs.
Medicaid is a program run by states with federal contributions and oversight. It covers people with low incomes and disabilities. Almost 67 million people were enrolled in Medicaid as of May 2020, including about 29 million children. In 1990 Congress decided that drugmakers who want to have their products covered by Medicaid must give rebates to the government. The initial rebate is equal to 23.1% of the average manufacturer price (AMP) for most drugs, or the AMP minus the best price provided to most other private-sector payers, whichever is greater. An additional rebate kicks in when prices rise faster than general inflation.
3. What’s the deal with rebates and discounts?
There’s widespread frustration among lawmakers and policy analysts about the lack of clarity about the role of middlemen in the supply chain for medicines. Known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), these businesses describe the aim of their business as making drugs more affordable for consumers. Insurers like Cigna and UnitedHealth operate some of the nation’s largest PBMs, as does pharmacy giant CVS Health, which also owns insurer Aetna.
“They will tell you their mission is to lower drug costs,” said Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, a Georgia Republican, a pharmacist and a critic of PBMs, in a speech on the House floor last year. “My question to you would be: How is that working out?”
4. What is the “distinctly American” phenomenon of specialty drugs?
Kesselheim also has written on what he terms “Specialty Drugs — A Distinctly American Phenomenon.” That’s the title of a 2020 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine Kesselheim authored with Huseyin Naci, an associate professor of health policy at the London School of Economics.
In this Perspective article, Kesselheim and Naci look at how the “specialty” designation morphed from its origin in the 1970s. It then referred to a need for extra steps for preparation and delivery of new injectable and infusion products.
5. How much does it cost to bring a new drug to market anyway?
The median cost for a medicine developed in recent years was $985 million, according to a study published in JAMA in March 2020, “Estimated Research and Development Investment Needed to Bring a New Medicine to Market, 2009-2018.”
“Rising drug prices have attracted public debate in the United States and abroad on fairness of drug pricing and revenues,” write the study’s authors: Olivier J. Wouters of the London School of Economics; Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and Jeroen Luyten of Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy, KU Leuven, Belgium. “Central to this debate is the scale of research and development investment by companies that is required to bring new medicines to market.”
NPR News Now reports: Vice President Debate tonight, Stimulus Bill update, health care needs in rural America, and other top news.
When the coronavirus hit, why were countless Americans left unprotected amid a desperate shortage of PPE and other critical medical equipment?
FRONTLINE, The Associated Press and the Global Reporting Centre investigate.
In the wake of President Donald Trump’s COVID-positive diagnosis, and as cases spike in parts of the country, “America’s Medical Supply Crisis” examines why the United States was left vulnerable to key equipment shortages — and why problems persist, months into the coronavirus crisis.