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The potential benefits of Aduhelm are small, its effectiveness is not certain, and even the FDA Thursday shifted its guidance on who should get the drug. But physicians are dealing with an onslaught of interest from patients and their families, and figuring out which patients are best positioned to be helped by the drug will be difficult.
Aduhelm, approved by the Food and Drug Administration last month despite questions about its efficacy, could be prescribed to at least 1 million patients a year, for a price tag of about $56 billion. Experts suggest there might be better ways to spend that money.
The Biden administration is moving to undo many of the changes the Trump administration made to the enrollment process for the Affordable Care Act, in an effort to encourage more people to sign up for health insurance. Meanwhile, Congress is opening investigations into the controversial approval by the Food and Drug Administration of an expensive new drug that might or might not slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of Insider and Sarah Karlin-Smith of The Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Marshall Allen of ProPublica about his new book, “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win.”
Millions of older adults want to be comfortable going online and using digital tools to enhance their lives. But many need help. A number of groups around the country offer assistance.
Despite a hearts-and-minds campaign and millions spent in incentives, managers struggle to get staffs vaccinated against covid. Some workers have threatened to quit over the pressure to get a shot, which employers can’t afford.
Across the country, doctors report that those hospitalized with covid now are largely unvaccinated. New York City lags the rest of the nation in vaccinating people 65 and older, and its efforts to reach the homebound and disabled have been late in coming and disorganized.
Criminal charges filed against two officers who injured a Colorado woman with dementia don’t address the fact that police often lack the skills to effectively deal with suspects with mental disabilities.
The federal approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease has reignited the debate over drug prices and the way the Food and Drug Administration makes decisions. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden seeks to gain goodwill overseas as he announces the U.S. will provide 500 million doses of covid vaccine to international health efforts. Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. And to mark the podcast’s 200th episode, the panelists discuss what has surprised them most and least over the past four years.
Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the new head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said the administration will focus on getting more people insured and is interested in finding a way to alleviate the gap keeping low-income families in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid from enrolling in Affordable Care Act health plans.
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