California Gov. Gavin Newsom has outsourced his way through the covid-19 pandemic, tasking his private-sector allies in Silicon Valley and the health care industry with fundamental public health duties such as testing, tracing and vaccination. Among the losers: the state’s weakened public health system.
The pandemic has demonstrated that virtual medicine is great for simple visits. But many new types of telemedicine promoted by start-ups more clearly benefit providers’ and investors’ pockets, rather than yielding more convenient, high-quality and cost-effective medicine for patients.
The Biden administration is bucking the drug industry and backing a waiver of covid-19 vaccine patent protections to help the rest of the world vaccinate its populations. Here at home, the Food and Drug Administration wants to ban menthol flavorings for cigarettes, setting off a fight with the tobacco industry. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
This Small Canadian Drugmaker Wants to Make J&J Vaccines for Poor Nations. It Needs More Than a Patent Waiver.
All agree that covid vaccines are urgently needed to stop the pandemic, but simply waiving patents fails to provide technological know-how and address supply chain challenges.