“Better Science, Better Health” covers all the major topics around research and innovation in adaptive clinical pathways and patient data usage.
Cures and Coverage: A Chilling Precedent for Patients
Brady: We Can Lower Costs for Patients Without Sacrificing Cures
MARCH 22, 2022
Warning against the Biden Administration’s decision to limit coverage for a new Alzheimer’s treatment, Republican Leader on the Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) urged Democrats to work with Republicans to ensure greater access to new cures, at a Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Republican Meeting.
Duane Schulthess, CEO Vital Transformation, was invited as a witness in the Committee of Ways and Means at the U.S. House of Representatives.
Biden won’t end cancer — or any other disease — by importing drug price controls from Europe
The House of Representatives approved H.R. 3 in December 2019, but the bill died in the Senate, which was then controlled by Republicans and is now split 50-50. The legislation, which was reintroduced on April 22, 2021, by three House chairs is now being tacked on to an infrastructure package. Its most threatening feature is what’s called international reference pricing. That means linking the prices of hundreds of U.S. drugs to those of six other countries, where single-payer systems rule and prices are set by the government. If H.R. 3 is enacted, U.S. prices would fall sharply, and so would biopharmaceutical R&D.
H.R. 3’s international reference pricing misses the mark
By Susan Peschin and Duane Schulthess, April 28, 2021
The White House and Congress have declared that reining in Medicare prescription drug costs to help older adults and people with disabilities is a top priority. But one drug pricing strategy on the table would have an outsized negative impact on people with Alzheimer’s disease and decimate research trying to find effective treatments for it. This strategy, known as international reference pricing, ties the price that Medicare pays for some drugs to those paid by other countries. The idea was first introduced as a model for Medicare Part B drugs by then-HHS Secretary Alex Azar in 2018. The next year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s drug pricing plan, known as the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), significantly expanded the scope to allow federal government use of foreign price controls in direct negotiations with pharmaceutical companies for the cost of 250 prescription medicines in Medicare Part B and Part D. It also extended the negotiated price to insurers and the commercial market at large.
Belgium makes a U-turn on AstraZeneca jab in over-55s
Belgium is the latest European country to make a U-turn on the AstraZeneca vaccine, now recommending it for use in people over 55 years of age. The country's Superior Health Council said data from new, large-scale studies in the UK, which showed strong efficacy in older age groups "is reassuring at first sight," and deemed the jab safe and effective. Belgium was one of a handful of countries – including Germany, France and Italy – that limited the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine last month, despite the European Medicines Agency saying it was safe for anyone over the age of 18.
How Europe fell behind on vaccines
The European Union's vaccination effort came under fire just as it was beginning to deliver. Heralded for months as the flagship of European solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission’s strategy of joint vaccine procurement is now being accused by national leaders of being too bureaucratic, too limiting to its members, too slow.
Health care 2024: Privacy in the age of digital medicine
Duane Schulthess, managing Director of Vital Transformation, was invited as an expert by POLITICO to participate in “Health Care 2024,” a survey-driven series of online debates in which POLITICO will explore how the European Union can best tackle health policy. In this installment of Health Care 2024 POLITICO asks: Can the EU gain benefits from sharing health data without weakening privacy — and if so, how?
Don’t Believe the Hype – International Reference Pricing Will Cost Far More than 1% of R&D Budgets
By Duane Schulthess
It’s odd that a city like Brussels managed to carve itself out a niche as one of the major political centres of the world. The medieval site of a notoriously typhus infested bog, one of the main streets in downtown, ‘Rue du Marais’, literally means, “Street of the Swamp” and the name of the city itself comes from the old Flemish word Broekzele, which roughly translates to ‘settlement in the swamp.’ So, when one talks politically of draining the swamp, at least in Brussels, it carries a literal interpretation that is often distant from the current political climate in DC.