Daily Policy Digest
|Mixed News on Generic Drug Approvals
The Food and Drug Administration's Office of Generic Drugs has executed 651 approvals in 2016, the largest number of approvals in a fiscal year in (at least) the last 8 years. The bad news is that OGD received a total of 853 applications in FY 2016 which is 202 more than it approved. The regulatory backlog remains, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Government and the Cost of Dental Care
Dentistry looks like a consumer-driven market: Insurance is far less prevalent in dentistry than in medicine, and most dental care is routine and preventive. Yet, costs of dental care have risen at the same rate as those of other health care, not at the rate of other consumer goods and services. The problem lies on the supply side, with restrictive licensing, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Consumer-Driven Health Plans Reduce Spending One Eighth
The Health Care Cost Institute has released its analysis of claims data for the years 2010 through 2014, comparing consumer-driven health plans with traditional health plans. CDHPs shift payment from third-party bureaucracies (that is, insurers) back to patients directly. The results continue to impress, cutting spending by one eighth, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Who Benefits From The "Right to Try" Experimental Medicines?
Thirty-one states have now passed laws giving patients the "Right to Try" experimental medicines. However, they do not appear to be getting the medicines. There are two problems and one solution, according to NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|A Modest Proposal to Reduce the Price of EpiPens
Posturing politicians on Capitol Hill conducted a hearing, in which they grilled Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan. N.V., which makes EpiPens. Prices of EpiPens have skyrocketed in the last few years. The politicians ignored a fundamental reform to the FDA's powers, which would quickly reduce prices of EpiPen, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|A Health Care Legacy Moonshot for Obama
President Obama has an opportunity to win a positive legacy in health care. Legislation modernizing the FDA, the 21st Century Cures Act, is being fumbled inches away from the Congressional end zone. Presidential leadership is needed, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Hillary's Campaign to Lower Drug Costs Is a Downer No Happy Pill Can Fix
Drug prices have become a campaign issue accompanied by a plethora of bad ideas. Spending on prescription drugs has grown tremendously over the past few decades, mainly due to the increase in the number of diseases and conditions treated using drug therapy. The truth is: most drugs are dirt cheap! Only a small portion -- maybe 1 or 2 percent -- are rather costly, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick in a Townhall column...
|Medicare Accountable Care Organizations Continue to Underwhelm
Medicare's Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which launched in 2012, were supposed to introduce a significant shift away from paying for "volume" to paying for "value." If ACOs pass certain thresholds of cost and quality, they can pocket some of the savings. The 2015 results for Medicare's ACOs have been reported, and the results are underwhelming.
|Medical Prices Rose 10 Times More Than Non-Medical Prices in August
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent in August. Medical prices, however, continued their upward march, increasing by one full percent -- 10 times more than non-medical consumer goods and services. If prices for medical care had been flat, the CPI would have risen by just 0.1 percent, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|What Is A Health Insurance Market Where No Health Insurance Is Offered?
Obamacare is becoming a Zen philosophical riddle: What is a health insurance market where no health insurance is offered? Obamacare appears to be in a death spiral, with a shrinking pool of insurers offering coverage, far fewer individuals purchasing insurance than advocates had anticipated, and double-digit price increases making policies unaffordable, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John. R.Graham...