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.
As more people return to air travel, tension is mounting in airports nationwide. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson is among those that have responded to the pandemic-related stress and fear among passengers and employees by offering services such as meditation, chaplains and other help in their terminals.
A misguided federal program called the Unapproved Drugs Initiative, which put the FDA’s stamp of approval on old drugs, led to higher prices. It’s scrapped. So now what?
Like many states, California is seeing huge regional variations in covid vaccination rates for people 65 and older. Remote rural counties are in some cases struggling to give away doses to vulnerable seniors, while metropolitan areas often have more demand than supply.
The emergence of an organization for med students motivated by progressive concerns highlights the changing attitudes of some physicians in training.
Dr. Linath Lim came to the U.S. as a refugee after slaving at work camps under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Even with little English or education when she arrived, Lim put herself through college and medical school. As an internal medicine doctor in California’s Central Valley, she treated farmworkers and other Cambodian refugees.
As of Wednesday, the KHN-Guardian project counted 3,607 U.S. health worker deaths in the first year of the pandemic. Today we add 39 profiles, including a hospice chaplain, a nurse who spoke to intubated patients “like they were listening,” and a home health aide who couldn’t afford to stop working. This is the most comprehensive count in the nation as of April 2021, and our interactive database investigates the question: Did they have to die?